LIVERMORE (KPIX) – Restaurants in Alameda County got some much-needed news Wednesday night that outdoor dining can stay open, for now.

Azul restaurant in Livermore just opened 4 weeks ago, in the middle of the pandemic. The owner says having an outdoor dining set up in front of his restaurant has boosted his business 50 to 60 percent, but it was in danger of being shut down.

“On Friday at 9 o’clock we were told that it was over, it was like a punch in the gut. Tears literally started coming down and I was like why,” says Azul owner MJ Moreno.

Luckily, the City of Livermore notified restaurant owners it would not enforce the county’s guidance over the weekend until it received a legal order.

“It would’ve been devastating for us. We’ve only been here for four weeks,” said Moreno.

Restaurant owners like Moreno got the news they were waiting on. The state granted a variance for Alameda County which means outdoor dining can resume.

Bob Fornaciari, a Livermore resident says, “We do get confused but we both get cabin fever, I’ll tell you that.”

Alameda County though remains on the California’s monitoring list because of the high number of new daily cases.

In Livermore, many feel businesses and residents are doing their part to try to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“I do feel comfortable here. There’s good spacing between people and people are really good wearing their masks in general,” says resident Tina Anthon.

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