Reclose the economy: Newsom shuts down malls, restaurant dine-in

Governor walks back reopening amid coronavirus surge

Gov. Gavin Newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom (Credit: Anda Chu/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is reclosing part of the state’s economy as reported coronavirus cases surge.

The governor announced at a news conference Monday that he was not turning off the economy but putting on a “dimmer switch” including banning dine-in at restaurants and other indoor activities at wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums, and card rooms.

Also, all California bars that had reopened are, once again, ordered closed.

The governor’s executive action additionally locks down indoor activities of malls, gyms, worship services, barber shops and salons in counties that have demonstrated a higher rate of coronavirus infections.

Newsom acknowledged these “monitoring counties” comprise 80 percent of California’s population and include Los Angeles County.

News outlets including KTLA-5 Los Angeles uploaded Newsom’s press conference onto YouTube.

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The announcement Monday comes after the first month of loosening business restrictions dovetailed with coronavirus cases skyrocketing.

Newsom noted that there were 8,358 new cases recorded in California on Sunday — or more than twice as many the number of cases recorded on June 12 in the Golden State (which was 3,660).

Newsom’s announcement — and the sharp rise in coronavirus infections that lead to it — is another major setback to numerous California industries including retail landlords and tenants, who have dealt with missed rent payments, plunges in revenue, and even vandalism.

Retail and restaurant dine-in reopened in L.A. County in early June. The executive order does indicate that take-out and curbside pickup can continue at these businesses.

One real estate sector perhaps unaffected are property sellers and their brokers. The ban on open houses has never been lifted, and Newsom’s order would appear to have no impact on home or building showings done by private appointment.

Newsom first announced a vast shutdown of the state’s economy in the third week of March. The state legislature has empowered Newsom to make these decisions unilaterally by declaring California in a “state of emergency.” [KTLA]Matthew Blake