The California Department of Public Health Monday announced the statewide reopening of in-store retail shopping, a major step in California’s emergence from shutdown orders issued in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The reopening of stores is subject to approval by individual county public health departments. It was unclear when Los Angeles County might act to lift its current restrictions. Stores inside enclosed shopping malls were allowed to reopen this weekend, but only for curbside pickup service.
“Thank you, Governor Newsom. As we continue to battle this virus, this policy will make all the difference to the small businesses in our communities that are struggling to survive this crisis,” County Supervisor Janice Hahn tweeted Monday.
Retail does not include personal services such as hair salons, nail salons and barbershops.
The retail guidance for in-person shopping that is already in place for certain counties now applies statewide, officials said. Stores will still have to observe multiple health precautions including social distancing requirements.
Monday’s announcement came as Gov. Gavin Newsom released guidelines for resuming in-person services at churches and other houses of worship.
“Together, our actions have helped bend the curve and reduce infections in our state. As sectors continue to open with changes that aim to lower risk, remember that COVID-19 is still present in our communities,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, the state’s public health officer and director of the health department. “As more of us may be leaving our homes, keeping physical distance, wearing face coverings in public, and washing your hands frequently are more important than ever to help protect yourself and those around you.”