Los Angeles restaurants and hair salons were granted permission to reopen immediately Friday, as restrictions were eased despite fears the city has become a coronavirus hotspot.
Restaurants in Los Angeles county — which has suffered more than half of California’s virus deaths — will be allowed to offer dine-in services with capacity limited to 60 per cent.
Customers will be required to wear face coverings while not eating, must wait for their tables outside the restaurant, and will be screened for symptoms on entry.
Bar areas of restaurants will remain closed.
“This further brings our communities together and resumes a sense of normalcy, representing monumental progress for Los Angeles County on the path toward recovery,” Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Kathryn Barger said.
Densely populated Los Angeles county has suffered more than 50,000 confirmed coronavirus cases including 2,290 deaths, and has lagged behind most of California in reopening.
But officials say progress has been made on flattening the curve of new cases, and testing and hospital capacity have been boosted.
Earlier this week, all shopping malls, offices and places of worship were granted permission to reopen.
The latest measures were approved by state officials Friday.
Hair salons will also require screening for symptoms on entry, and face coverings for both staff and employees.
Last week, Mayor Eric Garcetti dismissed a Trump administration warning that the city’s continued lockdown due to coronavirus could be illegal, saying he would not be “pushed by politics.”
Federal authorities had warned long-term restrictions in the United States’ second largest city “may be both arbitrary and unlawful.”
Maintaining social distancing and wearing masks, tourists visiting Florida will be able to take photos with Mickey Mouse again when Disney World reopens on July 11, a month after SeaWorld and Universal Studios are set to do the same, officials said Friday.
“Walt Disney World Resort and Sea World have received approval of their re-opening plans,” said Jerry Demings, mayor of Orange County, home to the city of Orlando where the parks are located.
Florida has green-lit the reopening of Sea World for June 10 and Walt Disney World for July 11, the mayor said.
The Disney parks “Magic Kingdom” and “Animal Kingdom” will open the same day, followed by the EPCOT center on July 15.
The Universal Studios theme park already has approval to reopen on June 5, after the abrupt closure of Orlando’s theme parks in mid-March in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It may be different from the last time you visited,” Disney World’s website said. “But together, we can find new ways to create magical moments — and memories to treasure.”
Orlando, located in central Florida, is home to most of the state’s theme parks and draws millions of visitors from around the world every year.