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10 PM Statewide Curfew For Restaurants And Bars In The Purple Tier

A closed table at The Den Cafe in Santa Ana following reimposed restrictions on indoor dining in Orange County on Tuesday. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
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On Thursday afternoon, California officials announced a new overnight stay-at-home order for all counties in the Purple tier -- that includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. The new mandate requires all non-essential businesses -- this includes restaurants, bars, wineries and breweries -- to close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The statewide curfew goes into effect on Saturday.

The statewide order is similar to the L.A. County curfew announced Tuesday. The county's new mandate requires all non-essential businesses to close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (an hour later than the statewide order). It goes into effect on Friday, a day before the statewide order.

At Thursday's press conference, California's Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said restaurants could still offer takeout after those hours.

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"For restaurants, they close their front door at 10, doesn't mean that the back door to do takeout and delivery is closed," Ghaly said. "And so we urge people, in a limited way, to use restaurants in that way. And for all you restaurant operators and owners, that's certainly an opportunity to keep some amount of business going."

It's unclear, though, how late-night takeout would work since the statewide order requires Californians to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The statewide order also prevents personal gatherings between those hours.

A neon sign at The Annex in Oxnard. (Tim Mossholder/Unsplash)

Grocery stores and pharmacies are considered essential businesses, so you'll still be able to go to them late at night. If you need to walk your dog at 11 p.m., that's fine, too.

The new restrictions are an attempt to stop the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

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Ghaly said California has seen a 63.6% increase in hospitalizations for COVID-19 over the past two weeks.

He blamed the surge on several factors:

  • colder weather
  • more mixing of people
  • more business openings and events
  • greater travel

Officials have also said if these new rules don't halt the spread of COVID-19, they will consider further restrictions and could shut down restaurants as well as other non-essential businesses entirely.
"It's really to avoid further restrictions," Ghaly said. "We've seen in the past that COVID goes from zero to 60 miles per hour very quickly."

Officials didn't offer details on how the new restrictions will be enforced.