Dine-in eating at restaurants, more retail shopping could return soon.

Kern County announced that it meets the new, relaxed criteria for reopening many businesses and is moving ahead into the phased reopening.

County officials studied the new regulations announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom at a noon press conference Monday and made the announcement about 2:30 p.m.

It could allow restaurants to reopen for dine-in eating with some modifications. Other retail businesses could open for walk-in customers, too, as long as there are safety measures taken including social distancing and limiting the number of people in a business.

We were pleased to hear the Governor’s announcement today that he’s changing the criteria for California counties to submit a variance. We have reviewed these changes, which are in line with our recent requests of his Administration and can confirm that Kern County is positioned to meet the criteria," the county said in a social media post.
"We will be asking the Board of Supervisors to approve our attestation, potentially as early as tomorrow. Once approved, we’ll send it to the State. If the State approves our variance, we’ll begin work immediately to start reopening the businesses within Stage 2, continuing to adhere to State guidance.
"It is important to note, the County still must be approved before we’re allowed to move through the phases faster. We’re optimistic that we’ll be approved but we need the community’s help to ensure we’re following the guidelines as they’re set now so that our numbers continue to hold."

the Kern County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet tomorrow.

Newsom's announcement will allow as many as 53 of the state's 58 counties to move further into phase 2 of a phased reopening program. Only the counties hardest hit by the COVID-19 will remain under the most stringent regulations