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Santa Barbara, SLO counties move into ‘Yellow Tier’ of state’s reopening plan

SB SLO Counties Covid

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties have moved into the Yellow Tier of the State's Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

The Yellow Tier is the least restrictive of the Blueprint's four color-coded reopening plan and designates a county's risk factor for the spread of COVID-19 is "Minimal."

The move ahead into the Yellow Tier means many more business operations are allowed to increase capacity limits.

It comes just a week before California is scheduled to transition out of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and move further ahead into full reopening.

Some of the business activities that now allowed under the Yellow Tier include:
• Restaurants: 50% capacity indoors; 200-person maximum is removed.
• Gyms and Fitness Centers: 50% capacity indoors; saunas and steam rooms can open.
• Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries: 50% capacity indoors or 200 people maximum.
• Movie Theaters: 50% capacity indoors; 200-person maximum is removed.
• Museums, Zoos and Aquariums: Indoor capacity limit removed.
• Bars with no food service: 25% capacity indoors or 100 people maximum.
• Gatherings and events: View the County’s checklists for capacity limits and restrictions.

For business owners, the move forward in the state's reopening plan is being met with welcome arms.

"I'm excited about being able to bring more guests to the club and pretty much anyone who is already a member will be able to bring their guests to workout with them," said Art Quezada, who owns Crunch Fitness in the Santa Maria Town Center Mall. "It will help us to grow as a company and as a community. Everybody needs to come in, try the club and relieve the stress they might have."

While some business will be able to boost sales immediately for some, the move forward may have minimal impact.

"Everything is the same, really for us because so much of our business is outside," said Jennifer Bloxham, Costa de Oro Winery tasting room associate. "When we have music and the bigger crowds, everything is outside, the weather is so beautiful, it doesn't really affect us, but it's nice to have 50 percent compared to 25 percent."

For restaurants, capacity size remains unchanged at 50 percent. Owners and employees are now looking ahead to when the state fully reopens, which is scheduled for June 15.

"That would be great," said Rick Manson, Chef Rick's Ultimately Fine Foods owner. "I think we're ready. I know we're ready. We'll take every precaution that we need to and follow all the guidelines, but we're ready."

The Yellow Tier will officially take effect in both counties on Wednesday, June 9 at 8 a.m.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Dave Alley

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