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State to allow retail stores to re-open starting Friday as Phase 2 of lifting stay-at-home order begins

Coronavirus

Gov. Newsom said the state is expecting to move into Phase 2 of lifting the stay-at-home order by the end of this week.

As soon as Friday, Newsom said low-risk retail businesses can begin to re-open and offer order pickups. For counties that are not heavily impacted by COVID-19, Newsom said they may soon be able to move further into Phase 2.

This would include re-opening restaurants with social distancing measures and other safety practices in place. 

However, Newsom said counties must meet certain criteria before they will be allowed to move further along in Phase 2. Newsom said the criteria will take into effect how many cases a county has, testing capacity, tracing and more.  

Later this week the state will release public health guidance for certain Phase 2 sectors including some retail, manufacturing, and logistics businesses, which will mandate modifications that lower the risk of transmission.

Businesses and employers in those sectors will be able to reopen as soon as Friday – if they can meet the guidelines provided by the state. Not all Phase 2 businesses will be able to open Friday with modifications, the state said.

 Some examples of businesses that can open with modifications include bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods stores.

Other Phase 2 sectors, such as offices and dine-in restaurants, will be part of a later Phase 2 opening. The announcement for Friday does not include offices, seated dining at restaurants, shopping malls or schools. 

As Newsom noted last week, the state is working with school districts and the California education community to determine how best and safely to reopen. That continues to be the case – this May 8 announcement does not move up this timeline, according to the state.

While the state will be moving from Stage 1 to Stage 2, counties can choose to continue more restrictive measures in place based on their local conditions, and the state expects some counties to keep their more robust stay at home orders in place beyond May 8. 

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