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California's New Guidelines Allow Bars and Breweries To Open Sooner Than Expected

Stock: A bartender mixing a drink. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Today the California Department of Public Health officially eased COVID-19 restrictions on breweries and wineries and gave a signal on when bars could reopen.

Under the new guidelines, breweries, wineries and distilleries that don't serve food will be allowed to reopen outdoors in counties in the purple and red tiers. Previously those establishments would have to wait for future tiers to reopen.

There are some caveats:

  • Advanced reservations are required
  • Visits are limited to 90 minutes
  • Alcohol consumption must end at 8 p.m.

The new rules start this Saturday March 13.

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But be advised: Counties have the ability to amend the state rules to be more strict. So we don't yet know how this will affect L.A. (!!). We know, this whole thing is like a riddle.

If you're like, wait my neighborhood bar has been open this whole time that's because breweries and wineries that serve food are technically restaurants (it's confusing). And restaurants have are allowed to be open outdoors in the purple tier, which we are currently in.

As far as indoor service at breweries and wineries – that won't be allowed until counties reach the "orange" tier.

Ok, now that we've got that cleared up, let's talk about bars.

Bars will still be closed until a county makes it to the "orange" tier. But when they do, they'll be allowed to reopen outdoors.

Bars won't be allowed to reopen indoors until a county reaches the least restrictive "yellow" tier.

If you're a visual person, this might help clear up the confusion.

Here are the amended rules for breweries, wineries and distilleries:

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Here are the amended rules for bars:

You can read California's fully amended "Blueprint For A Safer Economy" here.

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