Several more businesses including gyms, bars, museums, hotels and others will be allowed to reopen as soon as Friday, San Diego County public health leaders announced Monday, ending a nearly three-month shutdown for some.
San Diego's bar industry was one of the first shut down by the county's public health order, first issued on March 16 as the novel coronavirus began to spread through the region. Gyms followed several days later as health officials took more drastic steps to contain the spread.
12 weeks later, public health officials have announced that they will loosen restrictions to allow those industries to reopen, along with wineries, card rooms, family entertainment centers, museums, galleries, zoos, aquariums, hotels and Airbnbs. Swimming pools, including those at apartment complexes, would be allowed to reopen.
The county also announced that additional activities would be allowed to resume, effective immediately, with modifications, including day camps, campgrounds, RV parks and outdoor recreation like sports fishing and private charter boats.
The move from San Diego County leaders followed guidance from California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is working to gradually pull back a statewide stay-at-home order.
Mark Ghaly, the state's top health official, said last week that the new wave of reopenings would only apply to counties that have met certain thresholds on the number of cases, testing and preparedness will be allowed to start reopening the other sectors.
Fletcher said businesses who wish to reopen this Friday were required to go to the county's Safe Reopening website and follow the steps outlined under their specific industry. Each industry will have its own requirements and standards to ensure the safety of their guests, Fletcher said.
Some Phase 3 businesses were notably not included in the wave of reopenings, including nail salons, places to get facials, tattoo parlors, therapeutic massage venues, movie theaters, conventions and concerts. Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said she expected guidance from the state on more businesses in the coming weeks.
On Friday, San Diego County had a total of 8,619 cases and 296 deaths since the start of the outbreak.