More LA Retail Reopens Prior to Weekend of ‘Civil Unrest’

Hair salons, barbershops, and in-person dining can ‘resume immediately’ with safeguards


Hair salons, barbershops, and in-person dining are the latest sectors of the economy to reopen with limitations in Los Angeles County, as shelter-in-place orders are relaxed throughout the state.

Before a weekend of clashes between law enforcement and activists against police violence — which resulted in Mayor Eric Garcetti calling the national guard, county-wide curfews, closed testing sites and untold property damage — officials announced those institutions can “resume immediately” with safeguards. It was part of the county’s accelerated plan to reopen “in the advanced stages of Phase 2” of the state’s guidance to reopen.

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“This is a fine line that we’re walking in the County of L.A.,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn, in a prepared statement. “We are threading the needle between keeping the public safe and allowing our economy to reopen.”

Occupancy capacity will be limited to 60 percent for the next three weeks at restaurants. The state approved the county’s request for a variance to state guidelines after it met the necessary thresholds. If the rate of infection and other key metrics return to unsafe numbers, the Department of Public Health can limit or close reopened sectors.

Last week, L.A. County opened retail for in-store shopping, including shopping centers that can open at 50 percent capacity.

According to county officials, L.A. has demonstrated that it has controlled the spread of the virus and that testing and contact tracing capacity are at appropriate levels in response to the outbreak. But residents must continue to practice physical distancing, wear face coverings and follow public health guidelines.

“This highly contagious virus hasn’t disappeared; it is still out there, imposing a real threat to our communities. We cannot go back to business as usual,” said L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “I urge everyone to continue doing their part by abiding by physical distancing and face covering requirements and by adhering to our new public health directives for reopened businesses.”

Businesses must complete and implement protocols prior to re-opening. For all out-of-home activities, clients and staff will have to practice physical distancing guidelines. There will be limited capacity and  enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

At restaurants, employees and customers must be screened for symptoms, including cough and fever. Customers will be asked to wait for their table in their cars or outside the restaurant to prevent crowds from gathering. Diners must wear cloth face coverings when not eating. Bar areas will be closed, and outdoor seating and curbside pickup are prioritized.

At barbershops and hair salons, employees and customers will also be screened for symptoms. Employees and clients must wear cloth face coverings, and magazines, coffee and other amenities will not be available.

Nail salons and spa services are still closed. Gyms and fitness centers are expected to open later with indoor entertainment venues like arcades, bowling alleys, movie theaters, live performance theaters, concert halls, stadiums, arenas, theme parks, gaming facilities and festivals, and more. 

L.A. County has identified about 55,000 positive cases of coronavirus, with a total of 2,362 deaths, as of Sunday evening. 

“If you are returning to work or are visiting re-opened spaces and businesses, please remember that the actions we all take today will affect the numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths several weeks from now,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “This virus has not changed and is still easily transmitted among people in contact with each other.”