Manteca, Ripon and Lathrop — as well as the rest of San Joaquin County — on Thursday were granted permission by Gov. Gavin Newsom to further reopen local economies.
That means starting today stores that haven’t been allowed to be accessed by customers but were providing curbside service can now allow patrons to enter stores providing businesses have an extensive list of protocols and social distancing in place as required by the state. Also sit down restaurants can open their doors to patrons as long as they adhere to COVID-19 restrictions. The new order also allows swap meets such as the weekly Delta College flea market to reopen.
Businesses that are deemed higher risk — barber shops, hair stylists, and nail saloons along with other personal care concerns plus recreational venues including health clubs and such — are still ordered to stay closed. They are part of what Newsom has described as Stage 3 when it comes to reopening.
The fourth and final stage will allow the opening of larger gathering venues such as nightclubs, concert venues, and live audience sports.
Localized travel for permissible uses such as going to work, local shopping, and exercise is allowed. All travel deemed non-essential isn’t allowed until the Stage 4 reopening occurs.
The reopening will subject workers and customers to extensive pandemic restrictions.
Almost all workers will be donning face masks and will need to have temperature screenings before they are allowed to work.
Social distancing will be in effect.
The following are some of the rules you can expect when you go into a sit-down restaurant:
*Patrons will be instructed to use hand sanitizer, maintain physical distance from other customers, and avoid unnecessary touching of restaurant surfaces.
*Guests and visitors should be screened for symptoms upon arrival, asked to use hand sanitizer, and to bring and wear a face covering when not eating or drinking.
*Guests should enter through doors that are propped open or automated, if possible. Hand sanitizer should be available for guests who must touch door handles.
*Patrons at a single table will be limited to a household unit or patrons who have asked to be seated together. People in the same party seated at the same table do not have to be six feet apart. All members of the party must be present before seating and hosts must bring the entire party to the table at one time.
*Tables and chairs are to be removed from dining areas so that six feet of physical distance can be maintained for customers and employees. If tables, chairs, booths, etc., cannot be moved, visual cues to showing they are not available for use such as barrier tape must be used.
• Face coverings are strongly encouraged for all employees, however, they are required for any employee (server, manager, busser, food runner, etc.) who must be within six feet of customers.
*The number of employees serving individual parties, in compliance with wage and hour regulations must be limited.
*All restaurant workers should minimize the amount of time spent within six feet of guest
*Licensed restaurants may sell “to-go” alcoholic beverages, prepared drinks, and pre-mixed cocktails provided they are sold and delivered to customers in conjunction with the sale and delivery of a meal/meals.
*Emphasis should be given to outdoor seating and curbside pickup to minimize cross flow of customers in enclosed environments. Restaurants can expand their outdoor seating, and alcohol offerings in those areas, if they comply with local laws and regulations.
*Restaurants are being asked to consider allowing dine-in customers to order ahead of time to limit the amount of time spent in the establishment.
*Reservations should be encouraged to allow for time to disinfect restaurant areas and provide guidance via digital platforms if possible to customers for physical distancing while at the restaurant.
*Customers should be asked to wait in their cars or away from the establishment while waiting to be seated. If possible, alert patrons through their mobile phones when their table is ready to avoid touching and use of “buzzers.”
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com