More SD Businesses Allowed to Re-Open But With Restrictions

More SD Businesses Allowed to Re-Open But With Restrictions

Created: 13 May, 2020
Last update: 27 July, 2022

By Sandra G. Leon

County of San Diego officials are allowing some businesses to reopen as part of a phased plan to allow certain sectors to expand services with some restrictions to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As of Tuesday, May 12, retail stores are also allowed to reopen for curbside pickup and delivery only, as well as car washes, pet grooming businesses, landscapers, and outdoor museums and gathering places.

Business offices are also allowed to open but county officials still recommend telework as much as possible.

Any businesses that plan to reopen must complete a County’s “Safe Reopening Plan” worksheet available on the County’s website and display the worksheet at the entrance to the business. The plan outlines signage and health precautions that businesses must undertake to help protect the public.

The reopenings come after Governor Gavin Newsom released new state guidelines to allow businesses to reopen. The next phase of reopenings is expected to include restaurants.

The latest count of COVID-19 cases in San Diego County stands at 5,161 confirmed cases, 190 deaths, and 84,556 completed tests. The total testing accounts for about 2.5% of the County’s population. 400 COVID-19 patients remain in local hospitals, with 144 of those being in intensive care units.

Despite the announced reopening, the state and county health stay-at-home orders remain in effect. The public is still encouraged to follow the social distancing recommendations and to wear face coverings when entering businesses and when closer than 6 feet from other people that are not household members.

The County also strongly recommended that anyone over 65 years old, people with chronic underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems, or anyone with COVID-19 symptoms remain at home unless they need immediate medical care.

According to the San Diego County Department of Health and Human Services, the following businesses are essential, may open with restrictions, and are still closed, respectively:


  • Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores
  • Restaurants for take-out, delivery or drive-through
  • Pharmacies
  • Banks
  • Laundromats/laundry
  • Hardware/home improvement stores
  • Airports and public transportation
  • Childcare (see below)


  • Bookstores
  • Jewelry stores
  • Toy stores
  • Clothing stores
  • Shoe stores
  • Home and furnishing stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Antique stores
  • Music stores
  • Florists


  • Office-based businesses (telework is still strongly encouraged)
  • Car washes
  • Pet grooming
  • Landscape gardening
  • Outdoor museums, open gallery spaces


  • Dine-in areas of restaurants
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Entertainment venues
  • Public events and gatherings