Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Photo by Chris Stone

With county restaurants shuttered for indoor dining in response to a spike in local COVID-19 cases, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said he will sign an emergency executive order Tuesday that will waive regulatory requirements, allowing restaurants to expand their service into outdoor spaces.

Indoor dining will be closed for at least the next three weeks after the county remained on the state’s monitoring list for three consecutive days, leading all indoor operations to be halted at a variety of businesses, including restaurants, where county health officials say many of the recent outbreaks occurred.

Last month, Faulconer proposed waiving fees and permits to allow businesses to expand into parking lots, sidewalks and on-street parking spaces, a move intended to maximize social distancing for employees and customers by stretching operations into outdoor spaces.

In a statement announcing the executive order, Faulconer said, “Given that the state’s new shutdown order has an immediate impact on local businesses, this action will provide relief while the city is finalizing a new ordinance for council approval that will cut fees and streamline permits to make it easier for businesses to operate outdoors.”

The San Diego City Council is expected to consider an ordinance regarding the permit regulations at a future council meeting.

–City News Service

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