Small business owners are being allowed to open their businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic has seemingly magically disappeared now that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have taken office. Many questions the validity of the entire pandemic, especially given the lack on consistent information and actual scientific data to support the government’s actions.
Gov. Gavin Newsom abruptly lifted mandatory stay-at-home orders across California on Monday as the surge of coronavirus cases that followed the holiday season begins to recede. The move lets activities like outdoor dining at restaurants and personal-service businesses such as hair salons reopen for the first time in more than a month.
Counties will shift back into the state’s color-coded Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening system, where restrictions will no longer be tied strictly to the number of available intensive care beds in hospitals.
The state will assign tiers on Tuesday, with all Bay Area counties expected to remain in the state’s most restrictive purple tier. All Bay Area counties except for San Francisco said they will immediately reopen businesses eligible under the purple tier.
San Francisco will wait until Thursday to allow some businesses to reopen, Breed said — a delay health officials said was needed in order for the city to adjust to the new health orders. The city will allow outdoor dining to resume with a maximum of six people and two households at a table.
Customers and employees at indoor or outdoor personal services must wear masks, and zoos and museums may open outdoors. Travelers from outside the Bay Area must still quarantine for 10 days on arrival in the city, and if they book a hotel in the Bay Area, they must stay for at least 10 days.
The city will also keep its 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew on all but essential activities.
Restaurant owners in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, Sacramento County, Monterey County, San Francisco County, Fresno County, and Placer County filed legal claims in December against the state because of its policy of restricting restaurant operations while still requiring the payment of full fees. Filing a government claim is the first step before pursuing a class-action lawsuit, a restaurant owner told the Globe.
There are more than 60,000 restaurants in California, employing upwards of 1.5 million workers.
Restaurant owners have said throughout the 10-month state lockdown that a 50% capacity limit is not feasible for them to stay in business, and especially as they have not received rent relief, or relief from state and local fees and taxes.
In the legal case, restaurant and gym owners say the state and counties had no scientific proof that restaurants & gyms are the cause in the increasing “cases,” And they cite California HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly from December stating that the state has no proof, but instead they closed these businesses “in an effort to keep people at home.”
“Last week, a group of more than 50 wineries and restaurants across Napa and Sonoma counties sued to overturn a state ban on in-person dining, with owners saying their constitutional rights are being trampled as they slip into financial ruin,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “The coalition alleges that the governor and the state public health department have not provided scientific evidence showing that outdoor dining is more dangerous than other permitted activities, such as shopping in indoor malls and working on film sets. Citing uneven application of the restrictions, the group claims the state is violating equal protection laws afforded by the California Constitution, among other violations.”
The Globe filed numerous public records requests with the state public health agencies seeking the data and science used to back the 10-month lockdown, but is still waiting.
“Gavin Newsom should not be praised today for his act of ending his unconstitutional stay-at-home orders. Over the last year Gavin has trampled all over the Constitution and deprived healthy Californians from the right of self-determination while destroying the state’s economy,” Attorney Mark Meuser said. “Gavin has taken hundreds of constitutional rights away from the people and just because he gives a couple back, means he should be recalled immediately for not returning to the people the right of self-government.”
Meuser and Attorney Harmeet Dhillon have filed 17 different lawsuits against Gov. Newsom since since he ordered the state locked down for COVID-19 in March. Their most recent lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court against Gov. Gavin Newsom, is representing Los Angeles restaurant owner Angela Marsden who made the recent tearful, now-viral video as she was forced to close down her restaurant, Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grille. She was forced to close down even her outdoor dining, while a Hollywood film production was allowed to provide the same outdoor dining across the shared parking lot.