Local News

State eases restrictions on breweries, wineries; bar reopenings in sight

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Continuing efforts to slowly loosen COVID-19 business restrictions, state health officials Thursday issued rules allowing breweries and wineries that do not serve meals to reopen outdoors, while also setting a path for the reopening of bars.

According to the updated rules, beginning this Saturday, breweries, wineries and distilleries that do not serve meals will be permitted to reopen outdoors in counties that are in the restrictive purple and red tiers of the four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Customers must have advance reservations and will be limited to 90 minutes, and all on-site alcoholic beverage consumption must end at 8 p.m.

In counties listed in the less-restrictive orange tier, the operations can reopen indoors at 25% capacity, while in the least-restrictive yellow tier, indoor capacity can increase to 50%. The new rules do not apply to breweries, wineries and distilleries that serve food.

Those establishments will continue to be governed by the same rules as restaurants.

The state’s guidance, however, is subject to approval by individual counties. Counties are permitted to impose tighter restrictions than the state.

San Diego County remains in the state’s most restrictive purple tier, but Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said Wednesday that the county is “highly likely” to enter the less restrictive red tier by next week.

“This has been a lot of hard work of San Diegans in lowering the case count, a lot of hard work getting vaccines into arms, but all of these have combined and come together to put us on the cusp of being able to achieve this next tier,” Fletcher said.

The new state guidance also maintains the closure of bars in counties in the purple and red tiers. When a county moves into the orange tier, bars can reopen outdoors with safety modifications.

Bars can reopen indoors at 25% capacity when a county reaches the least-restrictive yellow tier.

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