Dining in restaurants and shopping in stores have reopened | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

Dining in restaurants and shopping in stores got the go-ahead today to finally reopen after a two-month shutdown, as long as they abide by a new Health Officer Order. Clothing and shoe stores are included in the order, as well as campgrounds and RV parks. Places like bars and bowling alleys, however, are still off-limits.

But, before the low-risk businesses can actually open their doors, all must complete a Business Attestation Form and an Industry Checklist, which verify the steps the business has taken to protect its workers and customers from spreading COVID-19. The process is free, and inspections currently will take place if a business has made large modifications. Businesses that are now open have until June 5 to self-certify. More guidelines are at the RISE Guide compiled by the county and about 350 advisors from the community, and at recoverysbc.org/reopen-your-business.

A “social distancing protocol” must also be visibly posted so both employees and customers understand the rules, which include distances of six feet between people, the availability of sanitizer, regular disinfecting, and no coming inside if you are sick.

For any proprietor unsure of what hoops they must jump through, state guidelines for restaurants and retail businesses are available at covid19.ca.gov, as well as a plentitude of other information and guidance.

For those businesses that can continue to operate through pickup orders or telecommuting, Governor Newsom advises continuing to do so. The county’s new health order reminds that nearly 5 million people have been sickened in the global pandemic, and that 338,120 people have died, including 11 in Santa Barbara County.

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