Mark Larson: local control during Phase 2 and Phase 3 reopening
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Some San Diego restaurants opened for Memorial Day weekend, as the county stepped cautiously into expanded Phase 2 reopenings after California approved its request Wednesday night to allow dining at restaurants and in-store shopping, both with social-distancing restrictions.
Elected officials and business leaders alike showed optimism Thursday afternoon, but also cautioned San Diegans to be patient as the new normal fits into place. Even as the more than 16,000 restaurants and food-service facilities across the region gained the ability to reopen.
KUSI contributor and AM 760 radio host Mark Larsonjoined Good Morning San Diego to discuss the way the State and County are reopening.
Restaurants and shops must fill out the county’s Safe Reopening Plan form and post it publicly to reopen, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said in a tweet Wednesday night.
Some of the guidelines restaurants must adhere to include having tables six feet apart, having temperature screening of employees, requiring facial coverings on employees at all times and on customers unless they are seated, and encouraging reservations.
Retail stores have similar restrictions, including limiting the number of shoppers in stores to maintain social distancing and requiring facial coverings for employees and customers at all times.
County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said that while the county tried to answer many of the broad questions from business owners and customers, it was impossible to foresee every scenario. He encouraged those with questions to call the county’s 211 number.
Jeff Rossman, president of the San Diego branch of the California Restaurant Association, urged diners to be patient with businesses, who were doing everything they could with limited supplies, information and staff.
“We encourage people to take their time,” he said, noting he would open his own two restaurants the first week of June. “Please don’t come in if you’re sick. Please be courteous, comply with signage and give yourselves extra time to comply. We’ve seen the long lines at casinos reopening, we don’t want people queuing. Wait in your car if possible until your table is ready.”
The county also sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday night asking him to approve a pilot program for Phase 3. If approved, it could allow for the reopening of certain facilities, including youth and sports clubs, salons, fitness clubs and outdoor religious services.
Fletcher, the lone dissenting vote on that Phase 3 letter, said Thursday that the county needed to pause while in stage two before moving to the “moderate risk” businesses and workplaces planned to open in Phase 3. Once San Diegans begin to feel comfortable with the modified openings and the county health data doesn’t show any sharp spikes, those businesses, workplaces and houses of worship could begin to reopen in Phase 3 of the governor’s plan.