LA County Supervisors Uphold Controversial Out of doors Eating Ban Regardless of Some Opposition – CBS Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – By a 3-2 vote, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday upheld the upcoming and controversial ban on outdoor dining, which will come into effect Wednesday evening.
Starting Wednesday at 10:00 p.m., all LA County’s restaurants will only offer take-out, drive-through, and delivery services. The ban on eating outside applies for a period of at least three weeks.
On Tuesday, regulators Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn tabled a motion to maintain the status quo of allowing outdoor dining, arguing that the ban will be too burdensome for restaurants already struggling during the pandemic. But the superiors Sheila Kuehl, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Hilda Solis were behind the ban.
“Eating out is probably more dangerous than any other type of business in terms of contagion,” said supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
Barger and Hahn argued the ban was too punishable for restaurants in response to a surge attributed to private gatherings rather than al fresco dining.
“I’ve never experienced the kind of pushback that I hear,” Hahn said of the personal food ban. “The public doesn’t think this recommendation is right and they don’t think it will work and they really lose confidence in the choices we make.”
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Kuehl argued that diners in restaurants “sit for hours without a mask” and are in close proximity to servers and customers walking by.
While the Board of Supervisors debated the issue on Tuesday, the LA City Council passed an emergency resolution calling on the county to resume in-person dining.
A judge earlier Tuesday denied a motion by a large group in the restaurant industry that would have prevented LA County from imposing the ban. The California Restaurant Association went before a judge on the LA County Superior Court and moved for a court order that would prevent LA County from suspending outdoor dining.
The request was in response to an amended public health ordinance enacted on Sunday banning restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars from dining in person outside due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
In its motion, the rating agency asked the LA County Health Department to provide specific medical and scientific evidence as to why outdoor eating should be stopped before that time.
The judge denied the rating agency’s request to postpone the ban, but left the door open so the rating agency could take further legal action on the matter.
RELATED: Local Restaurants Fear Closing As LA County Restores Restricting Outdoor Dining
A CRA attorney argued that the closure would come at a terrible time for many restaurants that had planned to serve special holiday meals to their customers al fresco. The group also claimed that only 3% of all COVID-19 cases have been linked to restaurants.
“There is evidence that eating at home is a greater risk than eating outside in a restaurant,” CRA attorney Dennis Ellis told reporters after the hearing. “Of course we were a little surprised that restaurants were being selected at this point.”
The city of Long Beach, which has its own health department, also plans to dine in person on Wednesday evenings.
However, the city of Pasadena, which also has its own health department, has not yet issued a ban on personal eating. Officials say the situation will be reviewed daily before action is taken.
“I’m really concerned,” bartender Sarah Parish told CBSLA. “I’m worried about paying my rent. I’m worried about paying my bills. “
After Wednesday evening, she and hundreds of others who work in the restaurant industry will be fired.
“I worry more about the business than about myself because I can always get another job,” she said. “These business owners have invested all their savings, everything they have in these businesses … the government is doing nothing to support this.”
The popular Laurel Tavern in Studio City has published on its Instagram page that it will be completely closed from Wednesday at 10 p.m. “until further notice”.
Meanwhile, LA County reported 3,692 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 374,479. There were also 51 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total death toll in the county to 7,501.
The five-day average of new COVID-19 cases in the county topped 4,500 on Monday. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, LA county director of public health, reported last week that a home safety order would be issued in the event. On Tuesday, she provided more details about the home safety regulation that may be enacted in the coming days:
– No public or private gatherings of people who do not live in the same household
– Allowed outdoor activities at 50% capacity
– Indoor essential retail with a capacity of 35%
– Non-essential indoor retail with 20% capacity
California health officials have already issued a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for all 41 purple animal counties, which include all counties in southern California. It started on Saturday and will last until at least December 21st.
Under the ordinance, all gatherings, movements and non-essential work between these hours are now allowed. However, residents are allowed to do things like go to the grocery store or drugstore, take their pets for a walk, or pick them up to take away.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)