LOS ANGELES, CA, US, December 15, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — A California judge ruled last week that Los Angeles County had acted “arbitrarily” and without rational justification in banning outdoor dining last month. “The Restaurant Closure Order is an abuse of the Department’s emergency powers, is not grounded in science, evidence, or logic, and should be adjudicated to be unenforceable as a matter of law,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant wrote. On-site dining has been a major factor in keeping restaurants, bars, cafes, and wineries afloat throughout this devastating pandemic, and in keeping thousands of workers employed during one of the greatest economic crises the country has ever faced. Famed restauranteur and owner of Marmalade Cafe, Lenny Rosenberg, shares his thoughts below and expresses why he believes these orders can cause COVID to spread at even higher rates.
Following a hearing that lasted more than an hour, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant upheld an earlier tentative ruling, in which he found that the county “failed to perform the required risk-benefit analysis” before enacting the ban. Still, the judge noted that “outdoor restaurant dining in the county cannot reopen at this time” in accordance with the state’s overriding regional stay-at-home order. The order to shutter all in-person dining came after the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to enact the ban on November 24. Rosenberg states, “The pandemic has caused widespread panic not just with the public but more so with public officials scrambling to find any possible rule to curb the spread of the virus no matter what the consequences.”
With no formal federal financial package confirmed yet for the more than 31,000 restaurants and small food businesses in LA County alone, the future is as bleak as it has been at any point during the pandemic. Rosenberg continues by stating, “In the case of LA, the judge made the right decision to overturn the ruling because of a lack of evidence.”
Many owners have expressed the sentiment of restaurants being the easy scapegoat due to the lack of leadership from city officials, to the governor dining out. Rosenberg questions the new orders and the effectiveness in curving the virus by stating, “Obviously in the case of outdoor dining LA like most cities throughout the country has done their homework to see if closing outdoor dining actually curbs the virus. However, when you close indoor dining, I believe it causes the virus to spread more. Why you ask? Well, more people end up congregating at home with others when it’s a known fact that the virus spreads worse indoors.”
This new lockdown has been proven to look much different than in the spring. The early days were difficult for many as there was no end in sight as to when and where this pandemic was heading. This time around, many owners and workers can slip back into a model that’s served before, and there is hope on the horizon with the vaccine. However, none of this means that these restrictions aren’t incredibly hard on businesses and the lives of employees. Rosenberg only hopes for future decisions to be made that are backed by rational justification.
Marmalade Cafe S.M.-CEO
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