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Santa Barbara County is in the Red Tier
Effective at 8 a.m. on March 17, 2021
All businesses and facilities must follow the items listed here before reopening:
Upon reviewing the guidance, perform a detailed risk assessment in accordance with the state guidelines for your industry and prepare a COVID-19 protection plan based on the guidance.
Implement a site-specific COVID-19 protection plan. This must be kept on site and readily available
Review your industry specific guidance and complete your industry specific checklist (see below).
Post the industry specific checklist and the attestation at your business to show your customers and employees you have reduced the risk and are open for business.
Upon completing your attestation, an official from your local jurisdiction (city or county) may conduct a site visit. Business should consult their jurisdiction to determine additional code requirements for their specific industry.
The County of Santa Barbara has provided all currently available industry guidance in accordance with the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The goal is to create a safe clean environment for workers and customers. California has revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases and positivity. Review the guidance that is relevant to your workplace, prepare a plan based on the guidance for your industry, and put it into action. When complete, you can post the industry-specific checklist in your workplace to show your customers and your employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business. To view how your industry is impacted by changes in the State’s tier system as the County progresses, see the State’s Industry Matrix by Tier.
The most recent local Health Order may supersede the information below, click here for the latest Health Order.
Brewpubs, breweries, bars, and lounges are closed unless food is served as a sit-down meal with transaction in order to follow Dine-In Restaurant Tier restrictions. See Dine-In Restaurant Section for information on Temporary Emergency Food Permits. Wineries and tasting rooms are limited to outdoor operation and curbside pick-up, unless serving sit-down meals in order to follow Dine-in Restaurant Tier restrictions.
A cohort is a stable group of no more than 14 children or youth and no more than two supervising adults in a supervised environment. The group stays together for all activities, including meals and recreation. And this group avoids contact with anyone not in their group. Guidance and directives related to schools, childcare, day camps, youth sports, and institutions of higher education are not superseded by this guidance for cohorts of children and youth and still apply to those specified settings. If you are operating a Cohort under this guidance, please complete this attestation that would complement your main business attestation (i.e., schools, childcare, day camps, youth sports or higher education).
Beginning April 1, 2021, outdoor live events, entertainment, and performances with seated audiences are allowed with modifications.
This guidance includes additional considerations for:
This guidance does not apply to convention-style events, general admission venues, and events where the central activity allows patrons to move around shared space.
Beginning April 15, 2021, indoor live events, entertainment, and performances with seated audiences are allowed with modifications.
Indoor Seated Live Events & Performances
Professional sports venues will operate without audiences and will need to follow the guidance and processes of both office workspaces and retail outlets. However, there will only be one attestation to be completed.
School sports programs attest as part of Schools and School-Based Programs. Higher Education athletic programs see instructions under Higher Education.
Outdoor and indoor sporting events, assemblies, and other activities that require close contact or that would promote congregating are not permitted at this time. Conditioning and training should take place outside, where practicable, and indoor sports activities should follow local guidance for gyms and fitness centers, including requirements for physical distancing, face coverings, and occupancy.
Indoor physical conditioning is allowed only in counties where gyms and fitness centers are allowed to operate indoors.
Expanded outdoor dining can help provide extra seating while still maintaining social distancing requirements.
Ensure approval from your local jurisdiction before using sidewalks, parking spaces, parking lots or other areas as additional seating. You may require approval from your local Zoning, Planning, Public Works or other governing agency to use additional outdoor space.
Ensure the space you intend to use is contiguous with and immediately adjacent to your restaurant. Space you use for dining must be under your facility’s direct control and observation, and your staff should be able to easily monitor it and proactively ensure proper social distancing of your customers and the public. Outdoor dining that is separated from your restaurant by a road, additional open space, or other similar distance is not approved.
Outdoor dining areas must follow all the same social distancing, disinfection and COVID-19 risk reduction measures as indoor dining areas. You must follow your business plan for COVID-19 reduction and the State Guidance, as well as California Retail Food Code, in all of your outdoor dining areas.
Do not use outdoor areas that are located on unpaved surfaces where dust can be generated (dirt, gravel, etc.) or adjacent to these areas (fields, dirt or gravel lots). Areas that are fully grassed, landscaped with low-dust ground cover (such as mulch or decomposed granite) or that are paved are appropriate for outdoor dining. For areas that are in the public right of way when not in use for dining, such as sidewalks, parking lots or roads, clean the area prior to and after dining hours of operation to remove trash and to keep dust down.
Prevent and/or avoid flies and other vermin. Outdoor dining areas should not be used if there are significant numbers of flies, or near locations where flies are common (stables, livestock pens, etc.) If flies are an issue, close the outdoor space.
Keep server’s stations and all food preparation and storage inside. Server’s stations with water pitchers, utensils, dishes, condiments, complimentary appetizers such as bread or chips shall be kept inside the fully enclosed food facility at all times. These items may not be stored outdoors.
No. Bars and/or other establishments that serve only alcohol will reopen outdoors only, once we reach the Orange Tier, in accordance with the Governor’s guidelines.
Restaurants and other food facilities that serve both food and alcohol may serve alcohol only when served with a meal and during the same transaction (No individual may consume alcohol on-site without also being served a meal for on-site consumption in the same transaction). Restaurants are permitted to serve alcohol for off-site consumption (growlers, to-go cocktails) with an ABC license that allows it, and also must be ordered with a meal. Breweries or wineries that have ABC licenses to sell of premise can continue to sell cans,bottles or growlers for take away without selling food.
No seating at the bar itself is allowed, as this is also a food preparation area.
Yes. If a facility serves only alcohol, they may contract with a food provider to provide meals to guests, so long as the meal and the alcohol provided are sold in the same transaction. These food providers may be either: o
No music or other entertainment may take place in a food facility,baror tasting room with food service arrangements at this time. Activities are restricted to food service only
Barriers should only be used when tables or chairs cannot be moved in order to provide the required social distancing of 6’ between diners (ie: for built-in booths or banquettes). Increasing the number of people in a space increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Restaurants should make every possible effort to space parties of people dining together at least 6’ away from other parties of diners, either by moving chairs / tables OR by leaving tables / chair unoccupied.
The installation of any barriers may require a permit from the Building Department or the Health Department, depending on location; contact those agencies for review prior to installing. For example, if installation of barriers involves alterations of load bearing walls, plumbing or wiring may require a building permit.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has made health and safety infographics and signage available for businesses seeking to reopen. These PDFs can be downloaded and printed. Signage can be placed in your place of business to alert customers of your efforts to secure the environment while ensuring the health and safety of your staff.
If you want the County to investigate potential violations of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy or the local health officer order currently in effect, please complete this form with as much information as possible. Complaints received through this form will be reviewed and addressed on the next business day.
If your complaint involves a threat to life or safety including gatherings currently in progress, please call (805) 683-2724.
For inquiries around housing, food resources, or general COVID questions please call 2-1-1.