Just as more offerings are being opened up at California theme parks, COVID-19 cases continue to be on the rise — and counties are shutting down. Los Angeles County — which has had consistently high COVID-19 case numbers since the pandemic began to spread in the U.S. — is closing down outdoor dining as of next week.
The announcement comes not long after California Governor Gavin Newsom enacted a curfew across the state.
LA County — where Universal Studios Hollywood is located — is halting outdoor dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries, and bars starting Wednesday, November 25. All dining in LA County has been outdoor-only for months, but now businesses will have to be takeout-only/to-go instead. Outdoor dining has been allowed in the purple tier/Tier 1 of California’s Blueprint For a Safer Economy. However, as COVID-19 cases have reached a five-day average of 4,000 or more, the county is shutting down even more.
“To reduce the possibility for crowding and the potential for exposures in settings where people are not wearing their face coverings, restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive thru, and delivery services,” the health department said, according to local news source KTLA 5.
“In person dining will not be allowed, at minimum, for the next 3 weeks,” health officials said.
As theme park fans, we want you to know how this applies to some of our favorite destinations right now. Though its Los Angeles-based theme park is currently closed (and has been since March), Universal Studios Hollywood has been operating Universal CityWalk Hollywood since June. The shopping and dining location has been welcoming Guests for shopping and outdoor dining (as well as takeout) for months, even as the county has been in the purple, most restrictive tier. Universal also just opened a to-go snack and drink location for Butterbeer and other goodies from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
At this time, Universal has not announced a closure of CityWalk. It can be assumed that it will remain open for only to-go dining, with locations like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™—Sweets & Treats still able to accommodate Guests. However, all up-to-date operations information can be found on the official website here.
Note that this ban on outdoor dining is currently in Los Angeles County, therefore it applies to Universal CityWalk Hollywood. This ban on outdoor dining does not apply to Orange County, where the Disneyland Resort is located. Disneyland Resort just reopened Buena Vista Street inside Disney California Adventure for shopping and dining only, which they are considering an extension of Downtown Disney.
Related: CA Parks Believe Ongoing Closure Has Led to Poverty
But Orange County is not recording nearly as many daily COVID-19 cases as Los Angeles County, so those planning to visit Disneyland Resort for Buena Vista Street and Downtown Disney should remain hopeful, while still mindful of health and safety precautions.