SAN MATEO COUNTY (CBS SF) — Health officials in San Mateo County on Wednesday announced an updated COVID-19 shelter order that will allow restaurants to resume dine-in service and barber shops and salons to reopen among other businesses.

With the completion of the state’s variance process, San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow issued a new order to align the county with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Resilience Roadmap. Businesses in San Mateo County will now follow the state’s schedule for reopening, also long as they adhere to the local order’s COVID-19 safety measures and follow state guidance.

The new order dated June 17 limits gatherings to no more than 50 people, outlines social distancing and face covering requirements, allows for social bubbles, and requires businesses to implement a social distancing protocol and written health and safety plans. The new order is effective immediately.

“We are moving away from opening businesses according to certain categories and instead focusing on behaviors and practices,” said Dr. Morrow. “As we ease restrictions, the power to control the spread of the virus lies with individuals and communities. Collective behavior will determine our destiny. If enough people, businesses, or organizations in the community do not follow the protective recommendations, the virus may spread with abandon.”

With the local order taking immediate effect, according to state guidelines, dine-in restaurants, hair salons and barber shops can now resume operations as long as they abide by state and county health requirements.

“The county said I could reopen. I didn’t understand, the papers they sent were not very clear,” said Elio Durzo, owner of Sapore Italiano Restaurant.

Durzo says he is thrilled to be able to get customers back. But so far, he has not received the specific guidance from San Mateo County, so he is waiting for more details before he opens up the inside of his restaurant.

“I have all the partitions at the tables. Paper menus, they’re all ready. Sanitizer, thermometer, all my employees, they’ve been checking every day when they come to work. That’s all. I’m ready to open.”

Supervisor David Canepa praised the reopening and hopes folks will follow the county health officer’s admonition to keep masking and social distancing, as much as possible.

“If we reopen and we socially maintain those protocols, Dr. Scott Morrow said that we could avoid a second phase, a surge,” Canepa said. “He said that and so we have to have faith.”

The following businesses can also resume operations:

  • Casinos
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Wineries and bars
  • Zoos and museums
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Hotels (for tourism and individual travel)
  • Cardrooms and racetracks
  • Campgrounds and outdoor recreation

In accordance with the state’s guidelines, personal services like nail salons, body waxing, and tattoo parlors may create safety plans and resume operations on June 19.

More information can be found on the San Mateo County government website.

KPIX 5 reporter Joe Vazquez contributed to the story

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