California lifts regional stay-at-home order, allowing more businesses to reopen

More businesses were allowed to reopen with modifications after the state lifted its regional stay-at-home order on Monday, state health officials announced. 

The state lifted the order with progress on coronavirus conditions and will return California to a system of county-by-county restrictions. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom clarified on Monday afternoon that restaurants statewide are clear to reopen for outdoor dining and with modifications.

In addition, nail and hair salons may reopen indoors with limited capacity. Masks are required for workers and customers, Newsom said. 

The California governor also added that that certain youth sports competitions can resume. 

The stay-at-home order had been in place in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, covering the majority of the state’s counties. The change will allow businesses such as restaurants to resume outdoor operations in many areas, though local officials could choose to continue stricter rules. The state is also lifting a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom expected to lift California's stay-at-home order Monday, his office confirms

Before the holiday season, all in-person dining was banned in Los Angeles County. The two-month ban was another setback for restaurant owners who continue to fight for survival during the pandemic. 

RELATED: Local restaurant owners: 'We can’t survive another shutdown'

While Californians will be able to return to their favorite restaurants, for most residents, some of their other favorite activities remain off the table such as amusement parks, indoor gyms, movie theaters, aquariums and museums. 

As of last Tuesday, 54 of California’s 58 counties were under the state's purple tier, which impacts more than 40 million residents.  

"Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer-term gains. COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it’s important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner," Dr. Tomas Aragon, the state’s public health director, said in a statement.

Previously, restaurants were unable to offer in-person dining and could only offer services for delivery or takeout. 


• LA County to suspend all in-person dining as COVID-19 cases surge

• SoCal could soon be under Newsom's stay-at-home order after ICU capacity drops below 15 percent

Regional stay-at-home order kicks in for Southern California

The decision comes with improving trends in the rate of infections, hospitalizations and intensive care unit capacity as well as vaccinations.

Newsom said the state projects Southern California’s ICU capacity will reach 33.3% by Feb. 21. 

Newsom imposed the stay-at-home order in December as coronavirus cases worsened. Under the system, a multi-county region had to shut down most businesses and order people to stay home if ICU capacity dropped below 15%. An 11-county Northern California region was never under the order. The Greater Sacramento Region exited the order last week. The state makes the decisions based on four-week projections showing ICU capacity improving, but officials have not disclosed the data behind the forecasts.

During the weekend, San Francisco Bay Area ICU capacity surged to 23% while the San Joaquin Valley increased to 1.3%, its first time above zero. The huge Southern California region, the most populous, remains at zero ICU capacity.

Early last year, the state developed a system of color-coded tiers that dictated the level of restrictions on businesses and individuals based on virus conditions in each of California’s 58 counties. Most counties will now go back to the most restrictive purple tier, which allows for outdoor dining, hair and nail salons to be open, and outdoor church services. Bars that only serve beverages cannot be open.

The county-by-county tier system uses various metrics to determine the risk of community transmission and apply a color code — purple, red, orange or yellow — which correspond to widespread, substantial, moderate and minimal, respectively.

As of the weekend, California has had more than 3.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 36,790 deaths, according to the state’s public health website.

FOX 11's Kelli Johnson contributed to this report.

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