L.A. County: 50 percent of restaurants visited aren’t complying with reopening rules

Restaurants across L.A. are offering full-service meals and reopening their dining rooms, but according to the county’s top health advisor, not all are following the rules—in fact, of the 2,000 restaurants that L.A. County officials monitored over the weekend, only half followed the mandated guidelines for health and safety. 

In an address today, L.A. County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer noted that 50 percent of the restaurants weren’t in compliance with regulations such as table spacing or physical barriers, and that these restaurants will be revisited and issued an order that they’ll need to heed to continue operation.

As of May 29, restaurants—and bars that serve food—are permitted to reopen dine-in service after months of closures, but in order to do so they must to follow a detailed set of temporary rules laid out by L.A. County, as well as statewide regulation; many of these rules overlap, but some vary, causing confusion amid an already complex county-by-county rollout of reopenings.

“We’ve been doing a lot of education, but starting this week we’re actually going to revisit places where we noted that people still had concerns, they had confusion, they hadn’t made the changes,” Dr. Ferrer said. “There should be no places where tables are right next to each other; they either need a six-foot barrier or a physical barrier. Those are requirements in the protocols.”

Dr. Ferrer then made note of the county phone line devoted to tips and complaints on restaurants not following guidelines, and encouraged diners to call in (at 888-700-9995) if they notice this during a visit.

“We’re really working hard with our restaurants,” she said in today’s address. “I want to note that 50 percent of the restaurants we visited were in complete compliance, which is way up from where we were the first weekend. So I want to thank all those restaurants that are in fact doing their very best to adhere to the protocols and to put in place those measures that offer some safety.”