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Abrupt Shift To Most Restrictive Coronavirus Tier Catches South Coast Restaurants Off Guard

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John Palminteri
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Many restaurant owners in Santa Barbara say they were caught off guard by Governor Gavin Newsom's decision on Monday to pull the so-called "emergency brake" on reopenings.

That move, which moved many counties including Santa Barbara into the purple reopening tier, was due to a surge in coronavirus numbers statewide which Newsom essentially said was too big, too fast.

Neighboring Ventura and San Luis Counties were actually closer to the regression threshhold, and so had received a warning one week in advance.

Now, restaurateurs are scrambling to adjust their business plans, move operations outside and reshuffle worker schedules.

Some restaurants don't have enough covers and heaters for outdoor dining, and are rushing to get them set up.