COVID-19: California Rapidly Moves Into Stage Two of its Reopening Plan

COVID-19: California Rapidly Moves Into Stage Two of its Reopening Plan

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This article was published by Law360 and written by Michael Mugmon, Thomas Sprankling and Noah Guiney. A slightly shortened version also appeared as a client alert.

Excerpt: On May 7, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference that the state was moving into Stage 2 of a four-stage plan for reopening California that he had put forth only the prior week.[i] He characterized this transition—which he previously said could be “weeks” in the offing—as a switch from dividing businesses into essential vs. non-essential into dividing non-essential businesses into lower risk (e.g., curb-side retail sales) and higher risk (e.g., large indoor gatherings). He also announced the basic standards that counties will have to meet if they wish to move at a faster pace in reopening than the rest of the state. On May 12, just five days later, the Governor released new, more detailed guidelines for those fast-moving counties, which permitted an additional group of businesses—e.g., dine-in restaurants—to reopen if certain conditions are met.[ii] Importantly, however, Governor Newsom cautioned that the process of reopening the state of California is constantly evolving and that state guidelines may change as events—and public health—dictate.

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