The judge sympathized with the restaurant coalition suing the county, but said he needed to see evidence – or lack of it – before making a decision.
A California judge has asked Los Angeles to provide medical evidence of coronavirus transmission rates to justify the general ban on outdoor dining.
The order comes days after the California Restaurant Association asked a Los Angeles Supreme Court judge to review and block an order dated Nov. 25 that bans restaurants from serving customers outdoors.
In their complaint, diners called for the ban to be lifted immediately, unless or until the Los Angeles Regulatory Authority provides "medical or scientific evidence" showing that eating outdoors poses a significant risk of facilitating the transmission of local coronavirus .
The CRA and its allies have claimed there is no compelling reason to believe that al fresco dining contributed to California's recent revitalization.
"L.A. County's recent unscientific order highlights a specific industry and could put thousands of jobs at risk," said Jot Condie, president and CEO of the California Restaurant Association. "There are thousands of restaurants and many thousands more employees who might be on the streets just before the holiday season."
Downtown Los Angeles. Image via Wikimedia Commons / User: salewskia. (CCA-BY-4.0).
Los Angeles Daily News reports that Los Angeles District Supreme Court Justice James Chalfant, despite refusing to lift the ban entirely, gave the city and its board of directors a week to obtain relevant evidence.
While the Daily News points out that Chalfant did indeed agree with arguments against the ban, he is reluctant to make a decision that could adversely affect public health without first explaining the city's reasons for implementing a meal ban Check free.
Still, California Restaurant Association attorneys are optimistic that Chalfant will represent their side in a suit.
“There is no evidence or studies that eating outdoors is specifically a risk. There are deductive reasons that if you eat and don't have a mask, it increases the chances of spreading the virus, ”said CRA attorney Dennis Hill. "It is a logical conclusion that there is a risk in all forms of eating, but there is no study, support, or evidence to suggest that there is an increase that is specifically related to eating."
The Los Angeles Daily News notes that Los Angeles will have a ban on outdoor dining until December 16.
However, the city, which has started increasing and re-implementing coronavirus-related restrictions to cope with a rise in winter time in certain cases, could easily extend that date to the New Year or beyond.
ABC7 Los Angeles states that "coronavirus and hospitalizations have increased rapidly" across California since early November. In the past two weeks alone, coronavirus-related hospital stays have increased nearly 77%, while more than 14,000 new cases are reported in California each day.
City officials, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, have cited the surge as just one reason for restaurants to close.
"At this rate," said Garcetti, "our hospitals won't have spare beds until Christmas."
The judge wants to see evidence of LA County's dining ban
The LA County's food ban is facing legal and political challenges
The LA judge refuses to issue a court order prohibiting outdoor dining. Says County should produce evidence