California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week the state will begin Phase 2 to gradually allow clothing stores, florists, bookstores and sporting goods shops to open their doors by Friday, May 8.
It is said to be months away before hair salons, gyms, movie theaters and in-person church services can open.
After a seven week shutdown, Newsom said with the use of curbside pickup and other restrictions, some retail businesses could reopen but if there was evidence of the numbers of cases increasing and the virus spreading, he could again impose tighter restrictions.
But for right now, the Governor feels the virus has leveled off to safely allow some businesses to reopen.
Some businesses however didn’t wait for the official nod and on their own began to open their doors, taking their chances on getting a citation.
A beauty salon in the City of San Fernando’s Mall discreetly reopened, although the small city has not authorized businesses to open.
Newsom’s announcement still doesn’t apply to restaurants for inside dining — they are still limited to takeout. There is also no change for schools, offices or shopping malls.
In the meantime, sporadic protests have been held to demand to return to work and business owners have said that they can’t wait and fear that staying closed will cause them to lose their businesses altogether.
Prior to Newsom’s announcement about 1,000 protestors gathered in Sacramento on the Capitol grounds. California is the world’s fifth-largest economy that boasted a surplus of funds prior to the pandemic and now reports millions in debt with millions of people filing for unemployment.
But in businesses like hair and manicure salons, it isn’t possible to practice social distancing. There is also concern that by reopening too soon, the rate of cases and deaths could be even worse the second time around.
Newsom said if this occurs, it would force him to reimpose tighter restrictions.
The state hospital association said California hospitals have lost up to $14 billion by postponing elective surgeries and other procedures to clear space in anticipation of a flood of coronavirus patients that never came.
There is no prediction when Stage 4 of the reopenings would occur that would end all restrictions, and allow people to attend stadium concerts and sports events.