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L.A. County Allows Restaurants, Salons To Re-Open; Manhattan Beach Records 3rd Death

May 30, 2020 08:49AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Pancho's Restaurant in Manhattan Beach is ready to open on Saturday. Photo via Pancho's.

On Friday afternoon, the state of California granted Los Angeles County permission to allow dine-in restaurants, barbershops, and salons to re-open with appropriate health protocols.

The re-opening protocols, issued by the Los Angeles County Public Health Officer and applicable to Manhattan Beach restaurants, barbershops, and hair salons, can be found here.

Meanwhile, the L.A. County Department of Public Health has reported an additional death in Manhattan Beach from COVID-19. That brings the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Manhattan Beach to three since the pandemic began.

Due to HIPAA health privacy regulations, the county did not release any further information about the victim.

Restaurant, Salons To Re-Open

City leaders, who have expressed support for the re-openings, expressed gratitude for the county and state actions.

“This is a major milestone for Manhattan Beach," said Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery in a statement. "Our restaurants and hair salons are a beloved part of our community, and a vital part of our economy. I commend my colleagues for meeting so frequently, including on Memorial Day, to take official action to advocate on behalf of our businesses and residents. 

Montgomery added, “While we move into this new phase of our recovery, it is important that our local businesses and community follow the important protocols set by the county for re-opening.”

The city says it will re-open parking lots in Manhattan Beach in the downtown area to accommodate visitors.

Under the new rules, restaurant occupancy will be limited to 60% for the next three weeks; and diners must wear face coverings when not eating.

Everyone, including clients, must wear cloth face coverings while in a salon or barber shop, and clients are encouraged to wear face coverings with earloops to ensure that the face covering does not interfere with the hair service.

Nail salons and spa services such as massages, facials, and waxing are still closed at this time.

City Had Supported Request

At a special meeting held this Memorial Day, the City Council authorized a letter of support for a variance from COVID-19 health orders issued by the state.

Los Angeles County submitted a request for a countywide variance on Wednesday, and Governor Gavin Newsom granted it on Friday. 
In the City Council's letter of support for the variance, Montgomery had written, in part: "Manhattan Beach has provided clear guidance and necessary resources to ensure the safety of critical infrastructure workers that work within the city. In fact, the city is preparing an analysis to allow restaurants to utilize outdoor space in creative ways to ensure the safety of our community during the pandemic. Simultaneously, there is an ample amount of supplies, including disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and essential protective gear. All public safety organizations are fully staffed and ready to respond to any incident that may occur, including any report of pandemic surge."

Michael Zislis, local restaurateur and Shade Hotel owner, told the City Council on Monday that his Manhattan Beach restaurants were ready for the next step. "We’ve been spending the last two months researching all the regulations; we know how to open safely; we’ve retooled our restaurants," he said.

His restaurants will have non-touch temperature sensors at the front door, and he has even hired a COVID manager for all of his restaurants, Zislis added. "We’ve done everything we can to be safe."


Recover MB Website To Track Developments

Given that regulations and restrictions have been changing so quickly, the city has launched a new Recover MB website to provide additional information regarding recovery efforts specific to Manhattan Beach based on the public health orders issued by the county.

The website aims to provide a quick source of information on what's currently open, what's closed, the current re-opening timeline, and current health and safety protocols.

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