Santa Barbara County approved by the State for accelerated reopening

Por/By Redacción-Newsroom

The County of Santa Barbara received approval on Friday from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to move forward on an accelerated Stage 2 path to reopening.

With this approval, Santa Barbara County restaurants can now offer dine-in service (other facility amenities, like bars or gaming areas, are not permitted) and retail businesses with exterior facing entrances are permitted to have customers inside of their stores.

They also announced that destination retail includes shopping malls and swap meets.

“This is an exciting next step for our entire community and we are thankful for the diligent cooperation of residents,” said Van Do-Reynoso, Director for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

“As local businesses work through reopening we encourage them to adhere to physical distancing and hygiene guidelines while educating both staff and customers of new practices,” the County’s authorities said in a press release.

On Tuesday, May 19, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the County’s draft attestation for the business readiness criteria that was submitted to the state Department of Public Health the same day.

The attestation documents demonstrate that the County is meeting state standards for safely reopening.

In a quick turnaround, the attestation was approved by the state on May 20, paving the way for a new health officer order issued Friday from the County Department of Public Health.

“This next phase of our reopening process will help get more Santa Barbara County residents back to work, while ensuring that local businesses modify operations to keep their customers and workers safe,” said County Supervisor Gregg Hart, Chair of the Board. “As we reopen additional businesses, we must all continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while out in the community. Let’s work together to safely support our local businesses as we progress through our COVID-19 response and recovery.”

The types of businesses allowed to reopen in this latter phase of Stage 2 include dine-in restaurants (with modifications), schools and child care, retail stores and shopping malls, and some offices. Higher risk businesses, such as hair and nail salons, gyms, churches and hotels for non-essential stays, are identified to reopen in Stage 3, but not before Governor Newsom declares eligible counties can move into Stage 3. 


The County also states before the businesses can reopen they are required to review state and local guidance, complete a COVID-19 Prevention Plan, and self-certify that they can open safely; all of which can be found at


Upon completion of the self-certification, businesses receive a certificate to print and display attesting to a safe and clean environment for workers and customers.

To assist businesses, the County created template signage in English and Spanish depicting disinfection control and physical distancing for workplace and customer safety. The templates are available to download on the County’s Public Health COVID-19 website at and with the RISE Guide at

Small Business and Community Partnership Enhancement Program (SBCPEP)

In addition, the County launched Phase 1 of the Small Business and Community Partnership Enhancement Program (SBCPEP) that allows businesses or other organizations to expand into adjacent public right-of-way outdoor areas in the unincorporated areas of the county to accommodate required social and physical distancing protocols and safe practices. Only businesses authorized to be open under the Governor’s Roadmap and the County’s RISE Guide will be granted a permit. Other businesses may apply in advance as they prepare for reopening.

A second phase is being developed to allow expansion onto private property, such as parking lots. Once announced, Phase 2 applications will be available. Businesses and community entities interested in Phase 1 that seek to use the public sidewalk or roadway for their business operations must submit an encroachment permit application, site plan, and certificate of insurance. To learn more and access the application, go to


Ventura County has been also awarded the permit to reopen. It is the first largest County in the State to gain the permit.