California OK’s retail re-openings, but leaves key decisions to local officials

Businesses can open with distancing and face-covering guidelines in place

An illustration of Gavin Newsom (Credit: Michael Kovac/WireImage via Getty Images, and iStock)
An illustration of Gavin Newsom (Credit: Michael Kovac/WireImage via Getty Images, and iStock)

California officials have cleared all businesses statewide to re-open for in-store shopping, so long as they have the go-ahead from local officials to do so.

Until now, the state had only approved some counties for widescale in-store shopping and most stores were open only for curbside pickup or delivery, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The guidance does not apply to so-called “personal services” such as hair salons, nail salons, and barber shops. Any retailers that do open are required to maintain physical distancing “to the maximum extent possible” and must require employees and customers to use face coverings.

L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn was among the local officials supporting the expansion of in-store shopping. She said in a letter that small business owners were “baffled” that they were restricted to curbside and pickup while large retailers deemed “essential” like Target and Home Depot were allowed to have in-store shopping.

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Hahn said on Twitter Monday that small businesses will be able to re-open for shopping “under the same rules Target and Walmart have been able to operate under throughout this crisis.”

Retailers were among the first businesses allowed to open under the state’s four-stage plan released in late April. Cities also have say in re-openings.

It’s unclear whether L.A. County will adjust its previously announced re-opening targets. Last week, county leaders said they were aiming for a “full or staged re-opening of retail, restaurants, and malls” by the Fourth of July. [LAT] —­ Dennis Lynch