05 May 2020

California eases lockdown restrictions to allow some businesses to reopen

Some Californian retailers will be able to reopen on Friday according to the state governor.

Gavin Newsom has said if businesses are able to sell goods with a ‘curbside pickup’ they will be allowed to operate again.

He said: “We are entering into the next phase this week. End of the week, with modifications, we will allow retail to start operating across the spectrum.

“This is a very positive sign and it has only happened for one reason: the data says it can happen." 

The move comes after protests broke out across the state earlier this month. Large crowds were seen at Orange County's Huntington beach, San Diego, San Francisco, to the capital and Sacramento.

Newsom did acknowledge some areas of the state would still have stricter restrictions than others. Six Bay Area counties, who were the first in the US to have stay at home rules, will have more stringent measures than rural areas.

Modoc county, a rural area on the Nevada border, was the first to begin asking to reopen.

The county sheriff Tex Dowdy said in a statement: “Our rural lifestyle and the fact that many of our residents have been abiding by the guidelines has kept us at zero.

“We are the perfect choice to pilot a reopening in the state.”

Newsom also commented on a plan being proposed to reopen beaches put together by the city of Newport Beach. A spokesman for the city, John Pope, said: “We’re confident we can manage the beaches effectively, maintain social distancing and minimize the public health risks.”

 The governor called the plan ‘outstanding’ and said: “Those beaches will be reopened.

“That’s the spirit of the moment, the spirit of the time. A sense of cooperation, recognizing the frustration that we all have and recognizing that we are all in this together and go a lot further together in that collaborative spirit.”

As of Monday, California had 53,616 confirmed cases and 2,215 deaths.

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