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Frustration builds for San Diego businesses over lack of reopening timeline

Posted at 1:14 PM, Aug 18, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – San Diego businesses are still waiting for any information on the resumption of indoor services, such as indoor dining, and the long wait has some frustrated and at a breaking point.

“The first five years were hard, but I never thought it would be a pandemic that brought me to my knees,” said Yuda Phia, who has owned Time Out Sports Tavern in downtown San Diego for 10 years.

Piha and wife Sarah got married days before the pandemic forced the shutdown, and the restaurant's first closure.

Sarah Phia explained the extra measures they've taken to meet or exceed the guidelines laid out the first time they reopened, including Plexiglas dividers and staff retraining.

Sarah, a graphic designer, made the signage throughout the establishment that enforced mask wearing and social distancing.

Setting up tables on the sidewalk isn't really an option for Time Out, which is located downtown on Broadway near 7th Avenue along a busy two-way street that gets constant bus and truck traffic and has narrow room for patrons.

County officials have said they expect new state-directed timelines in the coming days for reopening businesses, but Supervisor Jim Desmond said Tuesday that he doesn't know what they will be.

Desmond has advocated for the safe reopening of businesses, but he said the county’s hands are tied as control lies in the governor's hands. The decision is also entirely independent from the state’s watch list, which San Diego County was removed from on Tuesday.

The orders were issued concurrently, but not together, so there is no automatic trigger point when businesses would reopen.

Desmond wishes the state would reauthorize local control so that the county could make some reopening decisions independently going forward.