Officials in Los Angeles County will permit outdoor dining to resume there after a roughly two-month hiatus, but restaurants will be forbidden from allowing patrons to watch television while eating, a potentially crippling policy a week ahead of the Super Bowl.
County officials banned outdoor dining in late November amid a major spike in positive COVID-19 tests, though at the time they admitted that there was no clear evidence linking outdoor dining to case spread.
Restaurants will now be allowed to resume serving patrons outdoors, but "televisions or any other screens that are used to broadcast programming must be removed from the area or turned off," the county said in a notice.
As part of the county's outdoor dining protocol, "outdoor dining table seating must be limited to no more than 6 people per table, all of whom must be from the same household," the notice stipulated.
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