California’s businesses struggle the the state’s ever-changing COVID guidelines.
Various businesses in California have joined the fight against the Governor’s outdoor dining ban. The Pineapple Saloon, a restaurant in Sherman Oaks, went viral after the owner posted a video online of a Hollywood production team setting up for catering just feet away from her while her restaurant was forced to stay closed. She filed a complaint against the governor alleging his executive orders and the “state’s enforcement of these rules violate substantive and procedural rights protected by the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment.”
Now, others are joining the fight, and the Dhillon Law Group, Inc. and Geragos & Geragos have filed an amended complaint to include more than just the restaurant industry. Pineapple Saloon v. Newsom added new plaintiffs Images Luxury Nail Lounge, Inc., POMP Salon, Bella & Harmony, Inc., and Coachella Valley Hospitality Unites.
“Cutting hair and al fresco dining are criminal acts in only one state in the United States because Governor Newsom has decided to make these industries sacrificial lambs,” said Fred Jones, general counsel to the Professional Beauty Federation of California.
Many restauranters say the outdoor dining ban may actually have contributed to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases by forcing the ban on indoor dining to lift, having people gather inside rather than in the open air. In states like California, where it’s bright and sunny most of the year, they contend it makes no sense to force people to stop gathering outside.
“This is not brain surgery. We have been misled by the health officials. They don’t know what they are doing; it’s been demonstrated again and again. They are the ones causing the deaths by forcing people indoors,” said attorney and restaurant owner Mark Geragos.
“The reality is a ban on indoor and outdoor dining is going to drive people indoors, into their own private houses. There is clearly going to be an increased risk of COVID transmission. You are not going to have the established procedures to prevent COVID transmission in a restaurant,” agreed Robert Winters, an infectious disease specialist, who said the rules are confusing.
“There is no science nor data that justifies the blanket closure of all outdoor dining and beauty services,” agrued Harmeet K. Dhillon, managing partner of the Dhillon Law Group, Inc.
Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor London Breed recently announced the city would slowly begin partially reopening businesses, proving the rules keep changing and making the much-anticipated announcement at a public press conference. Breed cautioned that opening things too quickly and forgetting about safety measures put into place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could easily be a recipe for disaster.
“Just keep in mind that this is just not an open door for us to all of a sudden let our hair down and do whatever we want to do,” Breed said. “Let’s keep doing what we’re doing. Let’s keep being smart about wearing our mask and who we interact with, let’s limit the number of people that we interact with so that we can make sure that we don’t see another surge and see this fire continue to get out of control.”