California Re-Closes Bars and Indoor Dining Statewide

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the news in a press conference on Monday afternoon.

As states across the country grapple with reports of rising cases of COVID-19 and piecemeal policies regarding the reopening of businesses, California is taking a step backward.

In a press conference on Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered that all California bars and any restaurants offering indoor dining must cease to do so, effective immediately.

The list of affected businesses also includes wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, museums, zoos, and cardrooms. Restaurants can still offer takeout, delivery, and, in counties or municipalities allowing it, outdoor dining services. Bars, breweries, and pubs must end all operations, indoors and outdoors.

Earlier this month, Newsom made a similar call; however, the focus was on 19 specific counties that were seen as still in need of mandated restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus. At the time, the targeted shutdown included Los Angeles County, the state’s most populous, which had reopened bars and indoor dining just two weeks prior. However, almost immediately after reopening, Los Angeles County health officials claimed that well over 1,000 restaurants in the county were failing to follow the guidelines for safe service between waitstaff and customers.

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An interior view of the empty dining room at Sociale on March 27, 2020 in San Francisco, California. Ezra Shaw / Staff/Getty Images

According to ABC7, as of Monday the state had reported 329,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 7,000 deaths due to the virus, with the rate of positive tests slightly increasing in recent days. California had begun its phased reopening of indoor dining and bars in early May in some places.

Nationally, the rate of COVID-19 cases has continued to climb with a string of daily case report records broken last week. And over the weekend, Florida reported a record-setting 15,300 new cases on Saturday. The state on its own ranks ninth in the world for the number of total cases. That's despite efforts late last month to join Texas in re-closing bars for on-site service.

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