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Photograph: Time Out / Michael Juliano

Pasadena issues new outdoor dining rules and a stay-at-home order

The city will still allow outdoor dining, but it’s banning gatherings of non-household members.

Written by
Stephanie Breijo

Outdoor dining in Los Angeles is banned until at least mid-December, but in the City of Pasadena (which maintains its own health department) on-site service is still permitted for alfresco diners—even in the midst of Pasadena’s new stay-at-home order.

On Wednesday, the city released a new set of rules as part of a temporary, limited stay-at-home order that makes concessions for dining at restaurants but not for socializing with anyone outside of a given household. The new rules go into effect at midnight tonight until 11:59pm on December 20.

The biggest change in Pasadena’s new restrictions on outdoor dining: Meals must be limited to members of the same household—“only individuals from the same household can eat within 6 feet of each other”—and restaurants should inform diners of this rule upon making their reservation or upon their arrival. Additionally, all patrons are required to wear face coverings at all times outdoors when not eating or drinking.

“The City of Pasadena is emphasizing the need for restaurants and patrons to follow all public health protocols in order for outdoor dining to continue,” the official statement says. “Pasadena is not the place to come for social gatherings, whether at a home of a friend or relative, a fraternity picnic, or a group meal at an outdoor dining establishment—no gatherings are allowed.” (Emphasis theirs.)

Over the past week, Pasadena officials had stated that the city would continue to allow outdoor dining but re-evaluate it on a day-by-day basis (despite L.A. County’s restrictions that forbid it). It wasn’t until today, though, that they updated guidelines for those looking to dine out. 

Otherwise, Pasadena’s new limited stay-at-home order closely mirrors L.A. County’s current targeted “Safer at Home” order: Much like the rest of the County, Pasadena residents are required to stay home during a new curfew (in this case, between 10pm and 5am) with an exception for essential needs and essential-service workers. Also similarly, gatherings with members outside a household are no longer allowed. 

Pasadena is far from the only city within L.A. County to disagree with the L.A. County Board of Supervisors’ decision to ban outdoor dining. Yesterday Beverly Hills City Council unanimously voted in opposition to the recent restriction, but as Beverly Hills does not maintain its own health department it will continue to follow the county decision.

Today an L.A. County Superior Court judge ordered the county’s health department officials to present causality evidence in court next Tuesday, December 8. 

“You have to do a risk-benefit analysis for public health,” said Judge James Chalfant, according to the Los Angeles Times. “You don’t just talk about the risk of spreading disease. You have to talk about the benefit of keeping restaurants open.”

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