Many Restaurants, Stores Reopening On Central, South Coasts Over Memorial Day Weekend

May 22, 2020

The last few weeks have been rough for many businesses, especially small ones on the Central and South Coasts. Fusion Grill just moved from Newbury Park to Thousand Oaks.  Then, the coronavirus crisis hit.

They stayed open with takeout service, but it hasn’t been easy. 

The owners are thrilled that with revised state, and Ventura County health orders, they will be able to reopen their dining room, and are hoping to do it over the holiday weekend.

On Wednesday, the state approved advanced business reopenings for establishments like restaurants and stores in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties.

That opens the door to onsite dining at restaurants and shopping in some stores. 

In the case of stores, they must have exterior doors, which means that many stores inside of enclosed malls still can’t reopen.  Businesses must meet health safety guidelines set by officials in each county. 

As of Friday, some businesses in the region weren’t ready to take advantage of the relaxation of the closure orders. 

Managers have been figuring out what they will need to do to meet the health requirements.  And in many cases, after weeks of reduced staffing, or total closure, they are having to develop new work schedules.  Some are shooting for the holiday weekend.

Health officials in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties are happy that the region is doing well enough in efforts to contain coronavirus that they were able to ease closures.

But, they are also worried that people will take the situation the wrong way, especially with a holiday weekend at hand. They say it’s still too soon to invite family and friends over to your home, or to stop social distancing. 

The reopening steps are contingent on the counties continuing to meet criteria like low numbers of new diagnosed cases, and keeping hospitalizations below certain levels.