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In-Person Dining At Restaurants To Be Prohibited Under Modified LA County Public Health Order

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- As coronavirus cases continue to surge, dining out at Los Angeles County restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be restricted starting on Wednesday under a modified public health order.

Los Angeles Sets Curfew After A New Surge In COVID-19 Cases
On a normally bustling Saturday night in an area famous for its LGBTQ nightlife, bars and restaurants are deserted on the first night of a state ordered 10:00 curfew intended to curb gatherings that are believed to be driving recent record surges of COVID-19 cases on November 21, 2020 in West Hollywood, California. Officials hope to slow the spread of coronavirus enough to avoid triggering more restrictive Stay at Home orders in the coming weeks, like those implemented earlier in the pandemic. The restrictions are scheduled to last through December 21 but may be extended. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

"To reduce the possibility for crowding and the potential for exposures in settings where people are not wearing their face coverings, restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive-thru, and delivery services. Wineries and breweries may continue their retail operations adhering to current protocols," public health officials said.

In-person dining will not be allowed, at minimum, for the next three weeks, according to L.A. County health experts.

"It's just gonna be the nail in the coffin for many," said Hunter Hall of the Santa Monica Merchants Association.

Some business owners say they are paying the price for others who have not been following the rules.

"This outlier group of bad actors who are visibly flouting the rules makes it essentially politically easier for government bodies to say, 'oh, look, restaurants are breaking the rules, so we gotta shut them all down.' the reality is that's just a minority," one restaurant owner told CBSLA.

There are also people speaking out against the order to ban in-person dining, saying that it won't be effective.

"This surge has come from private gatherings at homes, it's come from celebrations over the election, from Halloween, from sporting event celebrations, this is not from dining outside," said Caroline Styne of the Independent Restaurant Association. "I think we're gonna have to lay off the majority of our staff now."

RELATED: Here's A List Of Things You Still Can Do After the New California Curfew

The changes were announced as the current five-day average stood at 4,097 new coronavirus cases in LA County, and on the heels of a new 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily curfew for L.A. County and 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew to help prevent the spread of cases during late-night gatherings.

Public Health confirmed on Sunday nine additional coronavirus cases and 2,718 new cases.

If the five-day average of cases is 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, another installation of the Safer at Home Order will be issued for three weeks, which will restrict leaving the home for non-essential activities.

Last Spring, many industry experts estimated nearly one-third of the state's restaurants would permanently close during the pandemic, but predictions now show that estimate may have been lower than what is evidenced.
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