More Businesses Can Reopen Under New State Guidelines

Woman shopping at the mall
Photo credit Woman shopping at the mall (Photo credit: Viorel Dudau)

The vast majority of the state and the Bay Area falls into the purple or "widespread" risk category under California’s new four-tiered coronavirus monitoring system.

While purple is the most restrictive category, the state’s updated reopening guidelines allow counties in the purple category to reopen malls, barbershops and hair salons for indoor business at 25% category.

It is great news at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo, where spokeswoman Christine Kupczak expects 85% to 90% of businesses to open.

"They are very excited. They are all looking forward to opening. It’s been a long time coming," she said. "And everyone is taking precautions and we certainly hope to provide a safe environment."

But do not expect them all to open right away, as those precautions are significant and will take time for businesses to adopt.

"Because you know, everyone has to prepare and get ready and of course put all the safety regulations into place. And then they have to bring in their employees, make sure everyone is trained properly," Kupczak explained. "The only thing that will not still be available is indoor dining and nail salons, from what I understand."

Food will be available, but shoppers can only eat on the outdoor patio.

Movie theaters, restaurants, gyms, wineries and places of worship must still operate outdoors only in purple counties. Bars remain closed.

San Francisco and Napa counties are the only counties in the Bay Area in the less restrictive red level.