LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles County health officials released reopening protocols Friday afternoon that will allow businesses to open as soon as they can meet them, potentially as early as Friday night.

Under a “variance” from Sacramento, Los Angeles County restaurants were cleared to reopen for limited dine-in service, as were barbershops and hair salons, as the state approved the county’s request to move deeper into California’s roadmap for restarting the economy.

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Until Friday, the county had been one of only about a dozen California counties not to
have received clearance from the state allowing more types of businesses to reopen.

Criteria for such variances include infection rates, hospital capacity, testing availability and ability to trace contacts of infected residents.

Officials in L.A. County – which has roughly half of the state’s coronavirus cases and deaths – say infection and hospitalization rates have been trending downward even as case numbers and deaths continue to rise.

Restaurants will be required to adhere to 60% of capacity and provide screening for customers and employees, physical distancing measures, and customers will be required to wear face coverings when not eating.

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Customers are encouraged to make reservations, and they will be asked to wait for their table either in their cars or outside the restaurant. Bar areas of restaurants will remain closed.

As part of the new criteria, hair salons will also be required to enforce physical distancing, and employees and customers will also be screened and required to wear face coverings.

The county on Tuesday revised its Health Officer Order, allow for retailers within enclosed shopping malls to reopen for in-store shopping with restrictions on capacity and mandatory face coverings.

Offices, swap meets, flea markets and drive-in movie theaters were also cleared to open under the revised order. Houses of worship were also cleared to again hold in-person services, with limited capacity and restrictions on activities.

Several Southland shopping malls also reopened, including The Beverly Center and Glendale Galleria.

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Only a limited number of stores are open, and hours are limited.