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California's ban on outdoor dining in most of the state has been lifted.

California restaurants can start table service outside again

The strictest dining restrictions in the country will be lifted

Soon California restaurants will be able to serve guests seated outside, thanks to the end of stay-at-home orders that the state issued in early December.

Although many jurisdictions across the country have limited indoor dining, California had taken the more extreme measure of banning outdoor dining, too, in an attempt to stem the tide of rising cases of COVID-19 that threatened to overwhelm hospitals.

But now that the availability of ICU beds has risen above 15% of total capacity at every region in the state, those restrictions have been lifted, paving the way for local authorities to allow for outdoor dining.

Los Angeles had banned outdoor dining before the rest of the state, on the day before Thanksgiving, but officials in that county said on Monday that they would “essentially align” with state guidelines.

Restaurants in New York City were granted no such reprieve. Although outdoor dining is still allowed there, below-freezing temperatures limit its appeal and indoor dining has been banned since Dec. 11. On Monday Governor Andrew Cuomo said some restrictions across the state would be lifted as reported cases of COVID-19 decline, and although he did not provide any details, he said explicitly that the New York City indoor dining ban would remain in place.

For more on California’s restrictions, read Outdoor dining to resume at California restaurants.

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@informa.com 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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