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Sonoma County Relaxes COVID-19 Restrictions For Dine-In Restaurants, Wineries

SONOMA (KPIX 5) -- Judging by the sizable turnout in downtown Sonoma Saturday evening, tourists and residents are eager to get back to normalcy as the county's health restrictions were eased.

Sonoma County relaxed restrictions on restaurants, wineries, hair salons and houses of worship.

Diners are now allowed inside, but tables must be six feet apart. Masks should be worn by servers. KPIX 5 observed rigourous cleaning and sanitizing at multiple establishments.

An hour after opening Saturday evening, the Swiss Hotel restaurant was at capacity.

"We had people waiting outside the front door waiting for us to unlock it, and sit down. It's an institution this hotel, so people were missing us a lot," said Swiss Hotel bartender Tanya Lyons.

This is the first dine-in experience for Danville resident Kim Osterman and her friends in nearly three months.

"Danville is not open, so that's why we're here in Sonoma. Because we are in shelter and we just had to escape," said Osterman.

Jayme Powers is a Somona native and resident.

"I've been in the restaurant industry my entire life, so just seeing my comrades, my friends, my family, just working again, and supporting them and enjoying good food and friends, and time, it really means a lot," said Powers.

Roche Winery says it must still serve food with alcohol in one transaction, reservations must be made, and only bottle service is offered.

"We have alcohol wipes to wipe off the screen every time people touch, sign their credit card," said Tasting Room Manager Sean Morgan. "We sanitize and clean the bathrooms once an hour. We throw away all the menus now."

The Sonoma County health officer cautioned that the coronavirus is not fully contained.

To date, there have been more than 600 cases of COVID-19. 14 new cases were discovered in the last 24 hours.

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