By the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs in partnership with Bet Tzedek Legal Services
On August 28, Governor Gavin Newsom released an overhauled COVID-19 reopening plan for California businesses. This article provides general guidance on how the new reopening plan impacts the pace and procedures for reopening businesses in Los Angeles County. It is important to remember that businesses must comply with all applicable reopening rules issued at the State, County, and city levels. The reopening rules are updated regularly, and businesses are advised to review them for any updates. This article does not constitute legal advice.
- California’s New Reopening Plan
Governor Newsom’s new COVID-19 reopening plan, the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, revises the criteria and procedures for loosening restrictions on certain business activities on a county-by-county basis.
The prior reopening plan placed restrictions on certain counties listed on a statewide County Monitoring List. The new reopening plan eliminates the County Monitoring List and instead classifies counties into four color-based groupings based on current COVID-19 rates:
A county’s assigned color, ranging from purple for “Widespread” cases to yellow for “Minimal” cases, determines the reopening restrictions and procedures applicable to businesses in that county. A detailed chart of reopening rules by color tier can be found here, and more information about the county classification process can be found here.
The new reopening plan also contains revised criteria for counties to move forward to a less restrictive color classification. Counties must remain in each tier for a minimum of three weeks and must meet the next tier’s criteria for a minimum of two weeks before moving into that tier.
The State has created an online tool to check current restrictions that may apply to your business under the new statewide reopening plan. You can visit this website and enter your business type and county to view the current status (but it is important to remember that you must also comply with all applicable county and city rules).
2. Los Angeles County Rules and Reopening Procedures
Los Angeles County has revised its reopening rules to align with the new statewide reopening plan. Businesses in Los Angeles County must comply with the most recent stay-at-home order found here. Under this order, essential businesses may remain open but must implement a Social Distancing Protocol, while reopening rules for non-essential businesses are set forth in industry-specific reopening protocols attached to the order.
Los Angeles County is currently classified in the purple (Widespread) risk tier under the statewide order. The new rules for the purple tier allow certain previously closed businesses, including indoor shopping centers, hair salons and barbershops to reopen.
It is important to remember that your business must comply with COVID-19 reopening rules issued at the state, county, and city levels. This document provides general guidelines on how to identify the rules that apply to your business. You should review each applicable rule in detail to ensure that your business is in compliance.
If you are uncertain about a specific issue, or need additional guidance related to reopening orders, call the County’s Disaster Help Center for more information: (833) 238-4450, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.