East County News Service
March 17, 2021 (San Diego) – Breweries, wineries and distilleries have been hard-hit by state COVID-19 restrictions. But effective March 13, they can now reopen for outdoor service in counties in the state’s most restrictive purple and red tiers – even if they don’t serve food.
However, reservations are required with a 90-minute limit on stays and an 8 p.m. curfew on onsite alcohol consumption is in effect. Those limits do NOT apply to breweries, wineries or distilleries serving food, which can follow the same guidelines as restaurants.
San Diego County Supervisors Joel Anderson and Vice-Chair Nora Vargas advocated for these changes. The pair co-authored a letter from the Board requesting a change of the guidelines/
After this news, Supervisor Anderson called the state’s lifting of restrictions “great news for so many who have been fighting to stay afloat for the past year. I will continue to work with our business community to ensure a safe reopening and equitable recovery.”
San Diego is home to over 150 independent craft breweries. Prior to the COVID-19 restrictions, the local brewery industry contributed $1.2 billion annually to the local economy, supporting nearly 6,500 jobs.
Although the new rules do not apply to bars, a newsletter from the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce indicates that some are hopeful that the revised regulations may soon pave the way for bars that don’t offer food service to also reopen.
Counties can, however, opt for more restrictive regulations if they choose.