VENTURA, Calif. -- Ventura County fully opened stage two of California's Roadmap to Reopening plan Thursday afternoon as businesses try to get back to a new sense of normal.
Downtown Ventura was bustling again for the first time in 10 weeks.
“Today is crazy,” said Michelle Ramirez, who Passport Habits store in Downtown Ventura. “The anticipation was overwhelming. It feels like the first day or opening back five years ago.”
Ramirez says being closed for so long was hard, but reopening has been a blessing.
“We opened at 11 a.m. and we had people waiting outside which was so great and it filled our hearts,” said Ramirez.
Stores are reopening, but with medications to keep everyone healthy.
“So we have kind of gone above and beyond,” said Ramirez. “We have a giant hand sanitizer at the front door. We have gloves, and I have extra masks, and we will wear masks at all times."
It is not just stores. The Tavern in Ventura is open again with dine-in service on the patio.
“I think a lot of the business owners in Downtown didn’t really expect something like this to pass so quickly,” said Sean Lawrence, who is the manager at The Tavern. “But we are all excited for it. I mean takeout only works for so long in this industry.
The restaurant and bar made some major changes.
“Basically everything here is that you have to be seated at a table,” said Lawrence. “There is no roaming around the bar, or roaming to other tables. You come with your group and you stay at your table."
Not every store or restaurant is open just yet. But more than 3,000 businesses in Ventura County have registered to reopen, just in time for the long weekend…
“Come and have some sense of normalcy with us,” said Ramirez. “We are here and we are so happy to be open again.”