VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The Ventura County Public Health Department announced on Monday that bars, brewpubs, breweries, pubs, wineries and distilleries that serve food can remain open in compliance with California's bar closure guidance on Sunday. In order to help curb the spread of COVID-19, however, the public health department released new guidelines to be implemented at those eateries.
The county said that bars that would have been subject to closure under the state's recommendation were never allowed to reopen. Thus, they will remain closed until further notice.
“Community spread of infection is of increasing concern across the State and in Ventura County. It is imperative that community members only gather with members of their household remain socially distanced and wear masks in public spaces,” said Public Health Director Rigo Vargas.
The new COVID-19 guidelines for those dining at restaurants, brewpubs, breweries, bars, pubs, wineries and distilleries in Ventura County will be implemented July 1. They require the following:
- Dine-in must close by 10 p.m.
- Dining time must be limited to one-and-a-half hours.
- Live music is not permitted.
- Customers may only sit with members of their household.
These guidelines come after the Governor announced that bars were required to close in seven counties across California and recommended to close in eight, including Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
He explained that the social nature of bars and the judgment-impairing effects of alcohol make those establishments more dangerous during the pandemic. Patrons may have a higher likelihood of breaking physical-distancing guidelines, thus increasing the spread of the virus.
However, the state said these mandatory closures will not impact bars and breweries that also serve food, allowing those in Ventura County to remain open safely.
The county said all existing guidelines must still be followed:
- Dine-in restaurants, brewpubs, breweries, bars, wineries, distilleries and pubs that provide sit-down meals must follow the state guidance and should continue to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible.
- Brewpubs, breweries, bars, wineries, distilleries and pubs that do not provide sit-down meals themselves, but can contract with another vendor to do so, can serve dine-in meals provided both businesses follow state guidance and alcohol is only sold in the same transaction as a meal.
- Venues that are currently authorized to provide off sale beer, wine, and spirits to be consumed off premises and do not offer sit-down, dine-in meals should follow the guidance for retail operations .
- Producers of beer, wine, and spirits should follow the guidance for manufacturing operations.
- This guidance is not intended for concert, performance, or entertainment venues. Those types of establishments should remain closed until they are allowed to resume modified or full operation through a specific reopening order or guidance. Establishments that serve full meals must discontinue this type of entertainment until these types of activities are allowed to resume modified or full operation.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ventura County, visit www.vcemergency.com.