Business Restrictions Softened in San Diego; Many Still Facing Financial Peril

Written by Julianne Foster

San Diegans have been given hope again since the county was taken off the state watchlist and allowed to begin some reopening again. Despite skepticism about how long this reopening will last, many are just relieved to have any chance to begin gathering income again and feeling their life loosen up a bit.

According to, San Diego County has been downgraded from a “widespread” to “substantial” level of cases, allowing many businesses to reopen at certain capacities. Hair salons and personal care services are allowed to open at full capacity, while retail stores and malls are allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Museums, zoos, aquariums, indoor places of worship, movie theaters and restaurants are allowed to welcome in 25% of their maximum occupancy. Gyms and fitness centers have the lowest capacity allowance at just 10%. Details for specific reopening guidelines for each industry can be found on the state’s website.

Unfortunately, bars, breweries and distilleries that do not serve food remain closed, along with concert venues, convention centers, festivals, live theaters, nightclubs, saunas, and most theme parks. The capacity limitations for “high risk” situations that these businesses place their customers in has outweighed the benefits of their reopening, according to state officials.

Gov. Newsom may feel some relief from finally heeding the demands of Californians to reopen, but San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond remains in hard pursuit of fully reopening the economy to end the suffocating lockdowns. “The announcement by the Governor is not enough,” said Desmond. “The State continues to change targets and in doing so choses winners and losers. While I’m pleased to see some industries will be allowed to open, others continue to suffer greatly. State government continues to confuse people and paralyze the economy.”

A lot of hard work has been put towards the successes of reopening, but it isn’t over as officials like Desmond must continue pushing for everyone to reopen equally in ways that complement their individual situations, which avoids the many problems that occur with statewide lockdowns.