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Escondido restaurants reopens after being forced to close for violating health order

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Posted at 12:26 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 15:27:12-04

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) — An Escondido restaurant forced closed by the county for violating health orders has been approved to reopen.

Hernandez Hideaway was closed last week after its owner allegedly refused to comply with San Diego County's public health orders for facial coverings and social distancing.

According to the restaurant's Facebook page, the location was allowed to reopen on June 27.

RELATED: New restrictions placed on bars, restaurants in San Diego County amid coronavirus

“Hernandez Hideaway is clear to reopen. They have agreed to follow state restaurant reopening guidelines. This includes their commitment to use facial coverings and ensure social distancing. They are required to post their plan for their patrons to see," a county statement read.

The county had reported last week that the restaurant refused voluntary compliance with health orders on multiple occasions. At the time, the owner, Rick Stevens, declined comment to ABC 10News.

"Mr. Stevens admitted that he was not compliant and state he will continue to operate without these COVID preventative measures and will not require staff to wear face coverings," the ordered stated, referencing a June 23 visit by county officials.

RELATED: San Diego County not named to state's watch list, but leaders warn it may happen soon

The restaurant was the second establishment forced to close in the county over health order violations.

In May, Pacific Beach's El Prez was closed following social media videos showing crowds of guests, many not social distancing or wearing facial coverings. The restaurant reopened days later.

This week, the county issued new health orders setting a 10 p.m. curfew for restaurants and allowing only bars that also serve food to remain open ahead of the July 4 weekend.

RELATED: Crowds expected as San Diego beaches remain open this 4th of July