Outdoor Dining Resumes; O.C. Moves To Purple Tier

Here is what the lifting of the stay-at-home order means for local businesses.
The charming brick patio at Centro Storico in Tustin welcomes guests for outdoor dining. Photograph by Emily J. Davis

With the state’s regional stay-at-home order lifted, outdoor dining and personal services are allowed to resume. The curfew (10 p.m. to 5 a.m.) is also no longer in effect.

The order, which was placed Dec. 6 to reduce stress on the health care system, was ended Monday as four-week ICU capacity projections had reached above 15 percent.

This news was met with relief by local restaurants such as San Juan Capistrano’s Mayfield, which decided to remain closed and not offer takeout during the order. Instead, the new eatery (opened in 2020) focused on its wine club, which curates bottles of natural wine every month for members.

“It’s lucky as we are getting to the point of real financial issues as we don’t qualify for any government support because we opened (last) year,” says George Barker, owner of Mayfield. “To qualify for any government financial aid like PPP programs, you have to be able to show losses against 2019. Well, if you weren’t open in 2019, you can’t and therefore can’t get any help.”

The restaurant will be allowed to seat guests at its patio and open-air dining room, which has two 120-square-foot windows and 20-foot retractable doors that ensure a natural airflow.

Under the purple tier, hair salons, barbershops, and similar personal services are allowed to open indoors with modifications. Fitness centers, museums, religious services, and entertainment centers can also open outdoors.

Head to covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy for the latest updates or refer to this chart which breaks down what’s allowed under every tier.

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