SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Throughout the Bay Area, restaurants remain closed, or are focusing on take out and delivery due to shelter in place restrictions.
On Tuesday, the governor laid out guidelines for what needs to be in place should counties decide to ease restrictions.
“There is a lot of ambiguity and gray area, the guidelines are not very clear,” Mourad Lahlou said.
Mourad Lahlou owns San Francisco’s Mourad and Aziza restaurants.
He says removing tables to allow for 6 feet of physical distancing among customers is doable, but virtually impossible for cooks in the kitchen.
“And these guidelines say if not practical people should use face mask, but if you are a cook you are supposed to be tasting your food so how touch your face, take off mask taste food, wash hands put your mask back on its just doesn’t work, it’s not very practical at all,” Lahlou said.
Ultimately though he worries about customer comfort and wonders if there will be enough diners willing to come through the doors even with these types of guidelines.
“Are we setting ourselves up for failure and breaking the law and not following the guidelines by opening to soon or should we just face the music and realize we are not going to be able to open effectively until there is a vaccine,” Lahlou said.
A vaccine is said to be at least 12 to 18 months away and most restaurants can’t sustain themselves on delivery and takeout alone. Lahlou believes there must be some financial assistance for restaurants.
“Financial help will pay for rent utilities and insurance and extend paid sick leave and the breaks on payroll tax and property tax and allow us to stay in business until we open again,” Lahlou said.
Dining inside a restaurant is the second part of Phase 2.
San Francisco and five other counties still aren’t on part one of Phase 2, but San Francisco has indicated that could happen as early as May 18 and that will be tied to the rate of hospitalizations for COVID-19.
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