Under the revised order from public health officials, restaurants and breweries are now allowed to operate for outdoor dining in Los Angeles County on Friday. However, televisions or other screens that broadcast programming must remain off until further notice.
The said restriction is an apparent effort to prevent gatherings of sports fans to watch games and other events such as the National Football League (NFL) to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The NFL’s championship game or the Super Bowl is the most-watched TV show of the year, according to a Daily Wire report.
But critics, especially those owners who rely on big-screen TVs to draw crowds, said the mandate could have the opposite effect as it could drive more people into cramped quarters indoors to watch Super Bowl LV, which is set for Feb. 7. It is still unclear when the officials plan to lift the ruling.
“Televisions or any other screens that are used to broadcast programming must be removed from the area or turned off. This provision is effective until further notice,” the revised order read, as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News.
Los Angeles’ COVID-19 Cases
Dr. Muntu Davis, the county’s health officer, said they had seen their cases went down, and they are still at a much higher number of cases.
Davis noted that this only means that the risk of community transmission is still very high. He added that at this point, they really need to be cautious in moving forward, given that the county will hold a major sporting event.
“We’ve seen lots of people together shouting, yelling, screaming during the excitement of a game and we want to make sure that as we do these openings, we can see the impact,” Davis said in the report.
He added that if things continue to get better, they may be able to change some of the restrictions. Los Angeles County is the county with the highest cases with 1.1. million and 16,107 COVID-19 related deaths.
Reopening of Outdoon Dining in Los Angeles
To ensure physical distancing, the revised order includes measures requiring outdoor dining and wine service seating to be reduced by 50 percent, outdoor tables must be at least eight feet apart, not more than six people per table, and everyone sharing a table must be from the same household.
The order also requires employees to wear face shields in addition to the face masks. Beer and wine spots can also continue serving customers on-site, as long as the food is still involved.
Alcohol must be purchased in the same transaction as “a bona fide meal” and not between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. According to the county’s definition, a “bona fide meal” is a legit meal and not just a prepackaged or reheated sandwich or snack.
The jurisdictions of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are county-wide except Pasadena and Long Beach cities that have their own public health departments.
Pasadena and Long Beach have almost the same rules. Pasadena requires six-foot spacing, while Long Beach does not require same-household parties.
Long Beach has yet to indicate that it would issue a similar anti-Super Bowl TV rule, but
Pasadena said it would also issue a similar anti-Super Bowl TV rule, but Long Beach has yet to indicate imposing the same restriction, according to a Timeout report.
The revised order of Los Angeles County came after the state of California announced that it was lifting its regional stay-at-home order on Monday.
The state said that it would once again allow small outdoor gatherings, hair and nail salons, and outdoor dining, among others, but with modifications.
Supervisor Hilda Solis said the Los Angeles County essentially aligned with the state to allow the reopening of permitted activities under the purple tier.
The Los Angeles County’s dining ban went into effect weeks before the state’s order and caused a lot of controversies. California has around 3.28 million COVID-19 cases, with a total of 39,900 deaths.