Restaurants, gyms, movie theaters open with modifications now that Fresno County is in 'red tier'

Fresno County is now in the 'red tier.' So what does that mean for local businesses and schools?
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County has just moved into the "red tier" of California's four-tiered, color-coded system for reopening the economy.

The spread of COVID-19 is still "substantial" for areas in the red tier, but more non-essential businesses can reopen with safety conditions, and those that were already open can increase the number of customers they serve.

RELATED: Here's how close your county is to changing tiers in California's reopening phases

So what does that mean for local businesses and schools?

In the red tier, restaurants can now open for indoor service at 25% capacity, while retail stores and malls can increase their capacity to 50%.

Fresno County schools can reopen for in-person instruction once the county has been in the red tier for two weeks.

Fresno Unified said that while the county has made progress, parents should not expect an immediate return to campus for all students. The district did not say whether they would phase students into in-person instruction.

Clovis Unified said they would continue to moving toward phasing in students' return, with in-person instruction starting by the end of October or early November. The district said families would have the choice of whether they would want their kids to return to school.

Fresno County residents will also be able to visit gyms, which can now open indoors at 10% capacity.

RELATED: Fresno gyms, fitness centers reopening this week at 10% capacity

More business sectors that were previously only allowed to serve customers outside can now partially open their doors, including movie theaters, zoos, and museums.

Theaters are allowed a 25% capacity or around 100 people inside.

Regal Cinema's River Park location reopened Tuesday afternoon at 5 pm. All guests were asked to follow social distancing guidelines.

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Moviegoers can still expect some restrictions when it comes to concession items, and they must wear a mask during the movie.

Moviegoers can still expect some restrictions when it comes to concession items, and they must wear a mask during the movie.

"There will be 10 theatres open. If you purchase a ticket, no one will be in front or behind you. They will clean after every show, they're pumping extra air so the filtration system is cleaner," said River Park spokesperson Tracy Kashian.

Maya Cinemas at Campus Pointe in northeast Fresno said it would also open for moviegoers on Friday. Social distancing will be enforced and guests will be required to wear a face mask until seated in the theater.

Personal care services can also reopen indoors.

Employees at Hand and Stone Spa have been busy booking clients as they get ready to reopen Wednesday.

To keep both customers and staff safe, they've staggered the times their employees come in and have even created a position to make sure the right cleaning protocols are in place.

Places of worship, which were also only allowed to hold services outside, can now resume services indoors at 25% capacity or with 100 people, whichever is fewer.

At People's Church, every other row will be blocked off while parishioners will be asked to keep distance between them and other families.

Executive Pastor Brad Liebe says they plan to continue outdoor and online services, along with couple of indoor services starting next weekend.

Fresno County health director Dr. Rais Vohra says businesses don't have to submit any paperwork for this transition, but the county's environmental health as well as the state enforcement task force will be periodically checking on businesses.

He still encourages people to wear masks and do as many activities as you can outdoors as that is still the safest way to avoid spreading the virus.

RELATED: 500 Club in Clovis to reopen as outdoor casino

Meanwhile, the Fresno State football team can get together in a full team setting but will continue to work in small groups as part of a slow ramp up for kickoff on October 24.

"We are thankful for all the members of the Red Wave who have helped keep our community safe and allowed for this exciting progression," said Fresno State Athletics director, Terry Tumey.

Bars, breweries and tattoo parlors are to remain closed while the county is in the tier. For a full list of what's open in counties under the red tier, click here.

RELATED: Map shows which counties can, can't reopen under Newsom's new 4-tier system

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