After a ten-week shelter in place order, Riverside County residents can now experience seated dining and retail shopping. Although the county’s request was accepted to move into the accelerated phase two, businesses will have to implement a safe reopening plan.
On Saturday morning people walking in downtown palm springs slowly started to notice the reopening of some businesses
“I’m just here today out and about and we see that things are starting to bloom a little bit which is good for business,” said Tony Messineo, resident of Palm Springs.
And as word got out that dining in was back in play, crowds at restaurants began to form. Restaurant owner Rita Capponi says she is excited to be serving her regulars again.
“You can’t see me smiling behind the mask but there is a huge smile, I’m so excited, plus we get to see all folks we haven’t seen in so long. we have all the guidelines from the health department in terms of sterilization and wiping everything down,” said Rita Capponi, owner of Grand Central Palm Springs.
Face coverings are still suggested in restaurants when not eating, and customers can expect things to look a little different with physical distancing. Retailers have also been given the green light to open up and express that keeping people safe can be stressful for business owners.
“One of the biggest concerns that other business owners have had when I’ve talked to them in one on one conversations is the folks that don’t wear their masks and understanding that’s a very stressful moment for business owners because we want to protect the people that shop here,” said Jeff Witthuhn, Owner of Peepa’s
Business owners say that sopping locally is needed more than ever but will have measures in place to help prevent the possibility of having to close again.
“Shop here, don’t run and go on the internet or go to other stores, support the city, we need the money, the city needs the money,” explained Marianne Hunzinger, owner of Marianne of Palm Springs.
“We have hand sanitizer when you walk into the store, we have hand sanitizer at the wrap desk and we also wipe down our credit card processor before and after,” added Witthuhn.
And depending on where you shop and visit businesses may require you to wear a face covering, so it may be a good idea to keep a couple handy.