Newsom extends restaurant, bar COVID-19 relief measures

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As the state prepares to fully reopen this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the extension of pandemic regulatory relief for restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries to support business recovery and protect public health. 

The extended relief measures permit restaurants and bars to continue to operate their expanded outdoor operations in areas such as sidewalks and parking lots and continue the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages with food deliveries. 

“As the state turns to post-pandemic life, we’ll continue to adapt best practices that have helped businesses transform customer experience for the better,” Newsom said in a news conference Thursday. “With new opportunities and support for businesses large and small, and the California can-do spirit that has carried us through the past year, we will come roaring back from this pandemic.” 

Newsom is also urging local governments to facilitate outdoor dining through local zoning and programs that support and promote expanded open-air, take-out and delivery options. 

Public health experts recognize that continued encouragement of outdoor activities and operations remains a public health priority, as regions across the nation and world experience surges and variants continue to pose a threat, according to a news release issued Thursday.  

Building on regulatory relief announced throughout the pandemic by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, this action is also set to allow bars to continue to partner with food trucks, catering companies or restaurants in order to sell meals with their beverages, as required, and allow wineries and breweries to partner with restaurants to host virtual dinners with wine and beer pairings.  

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