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Manhattan Beach To Expand Street Dining Following New COVID-19 Restrictions

Nov 21, 2020 08:54AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

The outdoor dining deck at The Arthur J

Editor's Note: On Sunday, November 22, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that it would put a hold on in-person dining for a minimum of three weeks, effective as of Wednesday, November 25 at 10:00 p.m. Take-out, drive-through, and delivery will still be permitted. DigMB will update with new details when they are available.

As rising COVID-19 case counts have led to tighter restrictions throughout Los Angeles County, Manhattan Beach is responding with efforts to help restaurants expand street dining opportunities.

The city announced on Friday that it would allow businesses to expand street dining areas in the public right-of-way. This includes street closure of Manhattan Avenue between Manhattan Beach Boulevard and 12th Street (with Center Place to remain open in the east/west direction) as well as the closure of North and South upper Manhattan Beach Pier lots.

The city has also amended the guidelines to allow pop-up canopies, less than 120 square feet, to remain in place overnight without a permit, as long as the fabric covering is removed after hours.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative that the community remains diligent and does their part to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Richard Montgomery. “The future of our business community depends on all of our efforts, and as a city, we are doing everything possible to assist them while ensuring the safety of our community.”

New COVID-19 Restrictions

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has called for additional business-related safeguards and restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Those latest county restrictions and safeguards, effective immediately, include:

  • Restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars, and all other non-essential retail establishments must close from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Specifically, businesses must stop seating customers at 9:15 p.m to allow closure at 10 p.m.
  • For non-essential businesses permitted to operate indoors—including retail stores, offices, and personal care services—occupancy will be limited to 25% maximum capacity.
  • The number of patrons at outdoor restaurants, breweries, and wineries will be limited to 50% maximum outdoor capacity, with increased distancing between tables.
  • Services at personal care establishments may only be provided by appointment. Customers and staff must wear face coverings at all times.
    • Services that require either the customer or the staff to remove their face covering, such as facials and shaves, are not permitted.
    • Food and drinks cannot be served at these establishments.
  • Only outdoor gatherings are permitted, are limited to 15 people maximum and include no more than three households.

Rising COVID-19 Numbers

COVID-19 cases have more than doubled in Los Angeles County since late August, and hospitalizations have increased from an average of about 800 per day in late August to nearly 1,300 currently.

In Manhattan Beach, the COVID-19 case count has increased by 40 in the past two weeks (November 6 - November 20), for an average of 2.86 cases per day.

By comparison, just a month ago, the COVID-19 case count in Manhattan Beach had only increased by 16 over two weeks (October 6 - October 20), for an average of 1.14 cases per day.

In the event the surge in coronavirus cases continues, the county has indicated that additional restrictions will be instituted. The next set of restrictions and safeguards will be implemented if the five-day average of new cases in the county reaches 4,000 or more, or hospitalizations exceed 1,750 per day. These restrictions would include a ban on outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars. These businesses would only be able to offer pick-up and delivery. 

If the five-day average of cases in the county becomes 4,500 or more or hospitalizations exceed 2,000 per day, a Safer at Home Order will be instituted for three weeks. The order would only allow essential workers, and those securing essential services to leave their homes. A 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew would be mandated, with essential workers exempt.

As of November 20, 2020, the city of Manhattan Beach, along with the rest of Los Angeles County, remains in Tier One, with "widespread" risk and the most restrictions.

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