Santa Cruz County is among just handful of California counties moving on to stage three of coronavirus shelter at home orders, meaning some businesses (like bars, gyms and hotels) will be allowed to reopen or relax restrictions on customers.
Phase three also means that tourists will be welcomed back. The stay at home orders are estimated to have cost the state of California around $72 billion in lost revenue from tourism.
Several bars and restaurants have been allowed to serve customers in outdoor patios or along the street for several days, but stage three means those businesses will be allowed to expand operations. However, many business owners said they don’t plan on rushing into it.
“We want to open slowly,” said bar owner Minna Lantis. “We want to keep our customers safe and our employees safe.”
Lantis and her husband Jeff said they won’t have the staff to handle a big crowd as they’re still re-hiring people. They’re also reminding customers that masks are required to enter their business.
“A lot of people come and they don’t wear them as they come in,” she said. “They come halfway in the restaurant and you’re like, ‘no.’”
“You have to politely say, ‘to enter, can you please put your mask on.’”
Throughout Capitola Village mask use among people Thursday was spotty. For residents of the small seaside town, entering stage three is a little nerve-wracking.
“It does concern me that there are a lot of people coming from out of town and even people from here going over the hill and stuff,” said local resident Caroline Miller.
Kelli Bartlett and her sister Paige are visiting from Texas. Authorities there are reporting a spike in cases after the state reopened quickly. They’re impressed by how seriously people in California seem to be taking precautions.
“If people take it lightly, like this isn’t serious, there is a reason why we’re wearing face masks,” Bartlett said. “I think we need to continue this until all of this is gone.”
Starting Monday, the doors of Pebble Beach resorts will reopen as well. Everything was closed for the first time in its 100-plus year history because of the pandemic. In just a few days, the Lodge at Pebble Beach and the Inn at Spanish Bay will be back in business.
Santa Cruz and Monterey counties are the two Northern California counties moving forward in reopening. South Lake Tahoe will also be reopening starting this weekend.