EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) – On Tuesday state health officials moved El Dorado County up to the state’s less-restrictive red tier, allowing many businesses to operate with fewer restrictions.
This means places like gyms, movie theaters, museums and restaurants can all let people inside again with capacity limits.
At Sierra Vista Vineyards stands a room that once overflowed with people sipping wine, but has sat empty for nearly a year after the coronavirus pandemic forced business outside.
“It’s been interesting, to say the least. We’ve had to improvise and adapt a lot of things,” said general manager Philip Hughes.
And adapt they did, installing heated pods where customers could taste wine with friends in the cold winter months.
But Hughes can’t wait for the day he can welcome his regulars back inside.
“We all kind of want to be through this and back to some sort of normalcy so we’re ready for it,” he said.
But for other industries, like hospitality, not much has changed.
“It will be very difficult to hold this open if this keeps going,” said Bonnie Kelley, owner of Ponderosa Ridge A Bed and Breakfast.
Although she can only book one room at a time under current restrictions, Kelley is hopeful that the red tier will bring more foot traffic to the area, and in return, more steady business.
“At least going into red, our restaurants can open so that starts to bring people up here so hopefully they’ll stop and stay,” Kelley said.
As for wineries, they can continue to serve outdoors with modifications.
And Hughes is hoping to pour customers a glass at the counter soon.
“Ready for it to get back to normal and get open and get people up here and serve them wine,” Hughes said.
Fewer restrictions for hotels and wineries will come in the following orange tier.