Ventura County businesses move closer to normalcy in less-restrictive red tier

VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- Some normalcy is starting to return to Ventura County now that it is in the less-restrictive red tier of the state's reopening criteria.

Diners along Main Street in Ventura on Wednesday had the option to eat outside, or for the first time in months, eat inside. Restaurants can now open their indoor dining areas at 25% capacity.

At the Immigrant Son Cafe, the manager was thrilled to give customers the option of outdoor or indoor dining.

"It was amazing. Just to walk in, in the early morning and see the tables ready to go inside was a great feeling," said cafe manager Johnny Costa. "And when our first customer walked in today and we offered the inside table they were amazed. They said, 'Whoa we're finally getting back to a normal routine.'"

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors announced Wednesday that it's dropping the remaining lawsuits against businesses that operated indoors against public health orders.

"The prior orders that had been put in place had been done during the heart of the surge. And now that urgency is gone and now that we're in red tier, a lot of these businesses aren't operating illegally anymore. So I thought it was the right thing to do and my colleagues agreed," said Supervisor Matt LaVere.

The red tier also allows movie theaters to open up at 25% capacity, or up to 100 people. Fitness centers can open at 10% capacity.

At the 24 Hour Fitness in Simi Valley, members were glad they could go indoors to work out.

"Oh my gosh, yes," said member Alva Quintero. "I've been coming in doing the outdoors and that's amazing. So it's part of my daily routine."
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