County now allowing indoor malls to offer curbside services, beach trails and parking lots now open

Shoppers hunt for bargains at the Westfield Valencia Town Center on Black Friday morning. Knowing which stores your loved ones’ like makes buying gifts a little easier.

Ahead of its targeted July 4 reopening date and Memorial Day weekend, Los Angeles County announced Friday three additional openings that include allowing indoor malls to open for curbside service. 

County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, first made the announcement during a webinar with Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth, the SCV Economic Development Corp. and the SCV Chamber of Commerce. 

“Currently, under the county order, not the state, the county interprets that if you have a store in the mall, you cannot do curbside pickup. That is ridiculous,” said Barger. “We’re going to modify our plans to be aligned with the state so that those stores that are in malls are able to at least do curbside pickup.” 

Westfield Valencia Town Center is currently in its initial stages of putting its plans together as lockdown restrictions ease, according to Zach Eichman, senior vice president of communications for Westfield, via email on Friday. 

Stores and restaurants within malls have remained closed for months under the Safer at Home order. As the county and state began to ease restrictions, many other nonessential businesses, such as bookstores, florists and car dealerships, were given the green light to reopen, raising questions from community members as to why shops within malls were not given the chance to implement the same safety measures other businesses have recently applied. 

As they prepare to reopen, retail establishments and their customers must practice physical distancing measures and wear face coverings. Businesses will also need to comply with a series of guidelines for curbside services issued by the county, some of which include taping areas for customers to safely stand in line when picking up orders, establishing contactless payments and frequent sanitization of common areas frequently touched, such as credit card readers. 

Retailers located within a mall will be able to take orders and deliver goods to the public outside of the mall from locations marked with visual cues for curbside and outside pickup areas, the county said in a news release Friday. 

The county also announced that car parades would be allowed for graduations, birthdays and other special events. These parades cannot include participants on bicycles, motorcycles, convertible vehicles with their tops open, or cars with no doors such as a golf cart. If any of the windows in a vehicle is open, occupants must wear a face covering, the county added. 

Beach bike trails and parking lots are also now open, an announcement that follows the May 13 directive to allow for only active recreation. Visitors must wear masks when out of the water, and practice physical distancing. Gatherings of any size remain prohibited, as well as bringing chairs and coolers, setting up concession stands and piers, and volleyball courts remain closed.  

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