Restaurants in Los Angeles County will be open for delivery, take-out and drive-thru services only for three weeks beginning Wednesday in the hopes of preventing the spread of COVID-19, according to The Los Angeles Times and KABC-TV.
Restaurants, bar, breweries and wineries in LA County had been open with outdoor seating only. However, officials have moved to restrict all in-person dining as cases in the county have spiked in recent weeks — just as they have across the country.
Breweries and wineries can continue selling alcohol in a retail setting.
"To reduce the possibility for crowding and the potential for exposures in settings where people are not wearing their face coverings, restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive thru, and delivery services," the county's Department of Public Health said in a news release. "Wineries and breweries may continue their retail operations adhering to current protocols. In person dining will not be allowed, at minimum, for the next 3 weeks."
The restrictions came after county officials warned that further action would be taken if the county's five-day average of daily cases rose above 4,000 a day. KABC-TV reports that on Sunday, the four-day average sat at 4,097 a day.
The restrictions threaten countless restaurant owners in the Los Angeles area, as well as the thousands of people those owners employ. Several restaurant owners told The Los Angeles Times that the restrictions come just as they were expecting a boost in business for the holidays. Some business owners say they are still paying off renovations implemented to expand outdoor dining.
In the last week, California has reported about 11,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day — a record since the pandemic began.