A judge in California ruled on Thursday that California officials cannot force restaurants to shut down, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil ruled earlier this week that two strip clubs could stay open despite Gov. Gavin Newsom's strict orders that prompted county officials to try to force closures.
"Defendants on the other hand, have provided the court with no evidence that plaintiffs providing live adult entertainment, and San Diego businesses with restaurant service… who’ve implemented protocols as directed by the county, have impacted the Southern California region," he added.
The judge on Thursday confirmed his order applies to all restaurants and other businesses with restaurant service in San Diego County.
State Sen. Brian Jones, a Republican, praised the ruling.
“Businesses with restaurant service are essential to our communities,” he said in a statement. “Thank you to Judge Wohlfeil for acknowledging these shutdown orders are not grounded in evidence and allowing restaurants to reopen.”
San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond called the ruling "wonderful news!" in a tweet.
But the city's mayor, Democrat Todd Gloria, said "the science and data are showing a dire trend in hospitalizations and deaths."
"I am asking San Diegans to continue to stay home as much as possible, wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, and order to-go to support small businesses. The health of our local economy hinges on the health of San Diegans," he added in a statement.
"The judge's ruling does not negate the fact cases continue to rise, ICU capacity is at a breaking point and deaths keep growing. We must take action to slow the spread," added Nathan Fletcher, a county supervisor.
The county and state signaled they will appeal the order.
Until then, the county will not try to make establishments close down.
Newsom recently ordered a near-statewide shutdown, citing a rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Several restaurants announced reopening plans for dine-in service, citing the development on Thursday.
"We hope to serve you this weekend, and see your (masked) faces once again!" Pacifica Del Mar said on Facebook.
"Exciting news - we're thrilled to share that we will reopen for outdoor dining tonight at 5 p.m. We can't wait to see your smiling faces," added Bleu Boheme on Twitter.