California loosens restrictions on breweries, wineries

Continuing efforts to slowly loosen COVID-19 business restrictions, state health officials on Wednesday issued rules allowing breweries and wineries that do not serve meals to reopen outdoors, while also setting a path for the reopening of bars.

According to the updated rules, beginning this Saturday, breweries, wineries and distilleries that do not serve meals will be permitted to reopen outdoors in counties that are in the restrictive "purple" and "red" tiers of the four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Customers must have advance reservations and will be limited to 90 minutes, and all on-site alcoholic beverage consumption must end at 8 p.m.

In counties listed in the less-restrictive "orange" tier, the operations can reopen indoors at 25% capacity, while in the least-restrictive "yellow" tier, indoor capacity can increase to 50%.

The new rules do not apply to breweries, wineries and distilleries that serve food. Those establishments will continue to be governed by the same rules as restaurants.

The state's guidance, however, is subject to approval by individual counties. Counties are permitted to impose tighter restrictions than the state.

Los Angeles and Orange counties are both still in the most-restrictive "purple" tier, but they are expected to advance to the "red" tier by early next week.

RELATED: LA County will allow indoor dining, gyms, movie theaters to reopen when county moves to Red Tier

The new state guidance also maintains the closure of bars in counties in the "purple" and "red" tiers. When a county moves into the ``orange'' tier, bars can reopen outdoors with safety modifications. Bars can reopen indoors at 25% capacity when a county reaches the least-restrictive "yellow" tier.

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.