FAIRFIELD (Up News Info SF) – Starting Friday, diners in Solano County can dine, rather than go out. The county received a variance from the state to advance to Phase 2 of Governor Gavin Newsom's reopening plan.
Still, in downtown Fairfield, restaurants are hardly a restaurant in sight. Customers say they don't know about the new rules and some still prefer to bring takeout.
"For me, I feel like it's too soon," said Jackie Polanco, a Fairfield resident.
Polanco was leaving one of the most popular places in the city, Evelyn's great Italian pizzeria. Some diners took advantage of the restrictions lifted, but for the most part, customers were receiving takeout.
"I myself will not eat in a restaurant, at least for a month," said Polanco.
Some restaurant owners in downtown Fairfield also have a lukewarm response to customers opening up for dinner.
For example, Piero Tropeano, the owner of Evelyn's Great Italian Pizzeria, feels that it is difficult for him to discover what exactly the state guidelines are.
He thinks there is no point in bringing his staff back when he has to work at limited capacity.
"I have two additional dining rooms and what am I going to do?" Tropeano said. Set two tables in one room and three in the other? It will not work ".
The Solano County Department of Public Health says restaurants must follow basic guidelines for social distancing, such as keeping tables 6 feet away and employees wearing a mask.
"If you want to stay open, you really have to abide by them because you don't want to be the source of the spread of the disease and we don't want to cite it, we want you to do it correctly," said Dr. Bela Matyas, the Solano County Public Health Officer.
With the arrival of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the concern is that more people will come out and enjoy their new freedoms, but Matyas reminds residents that very little has changed about the order of shelter in the home.
"It is important to continue to practice social distancing requirements to stay home to protect ourselves from this out-of-control disease," Matyas said.
Another reason why the holiday weekend is so troubling, Solano County saw a cluster of cases during Mother's Day weekend and the weekend after.