State Sen. Brian Jones part of group urging Newsom to reclassify restaurants as essential

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – All San Diego County restaurants and businesses with restaurant service are exempted from enforcement of California’s regional COVID-19 stay-at-home order, a judge said Thursday.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil granted a preliminary injunction Wednesday that allowed a pair of San Diego strip clubs — Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club and Pacers Showgirls International — to remain open amid COVID-19 restrictions, as well as “San Diego County businesses with restaurant service … subject to protocols that are no greater than is essential to further Defendants response to control the spread of COVID.”

Wohlfeil’s ruling prompted the county to seek an emergency hearing Thursday afternoon for clarification, though officials issued a statement Wednesday night indicating the county was suspending enforcement against restaurants and live entertainment establishments.

At Thursday’s hearing, Wohlfeil said, “The court’s intention is that all businesses which provide restaurant service, meaning all restaurants in the county of San Diego, are encompassed within the scope of the court’s order.”

Among the local leaders praising the ruling were Sen. Brian Jones, R- Santee, who said, “Businesses with restaurant service are essential to our communities. Thank you to Judge Wohlfeil for acknowledging these shutdown orders are not grounded in evidence and allowing restaurants to reopen.”

The ruling comes just days after Jones, along with 10 other Republican and Democrat Senators, sent a letter to Governor Newsom strongly urging him to “reclassify restaurants as essential businesses, and adopt the industry’s protocols that would allow restaurants to operate safely.” San Diego County will not be enforcing restaurant restrictions while they seek clarity on the court’s ruling.

“Some restaurants are already reopening. Our family will be eating out and supporting local businesses as soon as possible” said Senator Jones. “Because the order is still unclear, some restaurants may not open right away. Please call before dining out and take appropriate safe precautions if you choose to do so.” ​

State Senator Brian Jones is also part of a bipartisan group of eleven State Senators who are urging Governor Newsom to “immediately reclassify the restaurant industry as critical infrastructure.”

State Senator Jones discussed the ruling and the group’s work in more detail on KUSI’s Good Morning San Diego.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Local San Diego News, Politics