LA County considers 'COVID-19 recovery fee' for dine-in customers

Los Angeles County is considering allowing restaurants, breweries and wineries in unincorporated areas of the county to add a "COVID-19 recovery fee" to bills for dine-in customers.   

Supervisor Hilda Solis suggested that the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs work with county counsel and labor and business representatives to see whether such a charge is feasible and report back to the board on Nov. 24.  

Unincorporated Los Angeles communities account for 60% of the county, including Altadena, Hacienda Heights, Baldwin Hills, and Marina del Rey. 

This comes as LA County health officials are seeing another spike in coronavirus cases. On Oct. 29, it was reported in the last 24 hours, the county recorded more than 1,400 new cases. At the beginning of the month the county was recording, on average, 940 new COVID-19 cases per day, according to LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

The biggest increase is among young adults, she said.

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Health officials also say 10-15% of new cases are being traced back to eating at a restaurant or visiting a bar.

Vermont Ave, Los Feliz. (Photo by: Education Images/Citizens of the Planet/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

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To stay afloat, some restaurants have converted their parking lots into outdoor dining spaces to follow coronavirus guidelines that currently prohibits indoor dining service in LA County under the state’s Purple Tier status.  

The fee would not apply to take-out or delivery orders and would be clearly disclosed as a surcharge.

FOX 11's Mario Ramirez and Kelli Johnson contributed to this report.