Phase 3: Gov. Newsom teases next stage of reopening California businesses is closer than we thought

SAN FRANCISCO -- California just began to move into Phase 2 of reopening Friday amid the coronavirus crisis, but Gov. Gavin Newsom hinted the next stage could be just on the horizon.

"Phase 3 is not a year away. It's not 6 months away. It's not even three months away. It may not even be more than a month away," Newsom said. "We just want to make sure we have a protocol in place to secure customer safety, employee safety and allow the businesses to thrive in a way that is sustainable."

The state's Stage 3 of reopening involves reopening higher risk workplaces that necessitate close proximity between people. That includes hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, gyms, movie theaters and sporting events without live audiences.

Newsom revealed Thursday the state's first known case of community spread of the coronavirus could be traced back to a nail salon.

It's unlikely California would allow all of those businesses to resume at once. Instead, Newsom says the state plans to slowly rollback restrictions on businesses every couple of weeks.

As of Friday, retail businesses are allowed to open for curbside pickup with new safety and hygiene protocols. Manufacturing and logistics work can also resume. However, in the Bay Area, some counties have decided to move slower than Newsom's timeline.

"Roughly 70% of the economy in the state of California can open with modifications into this next phase," said Newsom Friday. "I know 70% is not 100%, and I recognize that 'with modifications' means 'with restrictions' and 'with restrictions' means a struggle for businesses to get back where they were pre-pandemic."


He encouraged Californians to shop local as much as possible.

"Look out for your neighborhood florist. Look out for your neighborhood business. They need your support and they haven't gotten the kind of support they deserve. You will be determinative of whether or not they survive," he said. "So if it means you gotta go an extra block or two, seek them out, find them, make some calls ... don't just go to that big box retailer. They've had a little advantage on things like this and it's time to re-balance things."

The state is working on developing guidelines that will allow office buildings, dine-in restaurants, shopping malls and outdoor museums to reopen next. Gov. Newsom teased he'll be releasing guidelines for dine-in restaurants next Tuesday, May 12.

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