On June 15, “the state will move beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” according to official guidelines, marking the end of the familiar color-coded tier system that has beleaguered retailers, restaurants and office managers for months. Instead, “capacity and distancing restrictions will be lifted for most businesses and activities,” opening opportunities for businesses large and small. The only sector with continued mandates will be “mega-events,” which have 5,000 people or more indoors or 10,000 outside.
But just because businesses can open up fully doesn’t mean they will. And in many cases, a company’s business model after COVID-19 will differ from the 2019 version. Zoom clients, continued mask-wearing and fewer employees in the office reflect lessons learned during the pandemic.
Some businesses anticipate a fairly smooth transition to full capacity. Tim Gaspar at Gaspar Insurance in Woodland Hills expects to drop most of coronavirus precautions soon after the June 15 deadline. “Other than more work from home, I don’t really think things have changed for us all that much,” he said.
Many of the owners profiled on the following pages foresee a strong uptick in their business. Cici Bo at Harmony Family Yoga in Thousand Oaks has learned to conduct classes online, a client sector she plans to retain after the reopening. And Tommy Gelinas, owner of Valley Relics Museum in Van Nuys, plans to add live entertainment and outdoor events to his operation and eventually to rent more space to expand his collection.
Finally, note that during most the pandemic, Los Angeles County has maintained stricter rules than the state, but starting on June 15, the regulations will be the same.
“Los Angeles County will align with the state’s June 15 plans that ease many capacity limits and distancing requirements,” a statement from L.A. County Public Health Department said on May 21. “People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks in most situations. … The county will also follow the state on lifting current travel restrictions on June 15 to align with CDC travel recommendations.”