Pasadena to consider ban on alfresco dining after several restaurants violate coronavirus guidelines

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) – People from Southern California came to Old Town Pasadena on Sunday for alfresco dining – the only city in Los Angeles County that still allowed the service.

“We came to Pasadena because I read on Google that they have their own health service, which is why we decided to give it a try,” said visitor Ana Valladares. “It was open today.”

But that could change as the city continues to monitor its coronavirus numbers, particularly after the holiday weekend begins.

“It’s literally a day-to-day assessment to see how we’re going to move forward,” Lisa Derderian, a city spokesperson, told ABC7.

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The Pasadena health department is already cracking down on non-compliant restaurants. Last week, inspectors visited more than 60 establishments and found that about half had minor infractions. After revisiting Friday night, at least five were still non-compliant and were closed.

“They went through a hearing, a re-inspection and three of those five were able to reopen last night,” Derderian said. “I’m saying that, but I’m also saying that during additional inspections on Saturday night, 2 other restaurants were closed, so there are four of us right now that are still closed.”

ABC7 has spoken to people who have said they hope a few don’t ruin it for everyone.

“It’s difficult for the other businesses involved who have to suffer because of some restaurants not following these rules,” said a man who only gave his name as Sam.

The city’s health department also has an eye on gatherings. On Saturday, inspectors visited the city’s 24 parks, including the Rose Bowl Loop, to remind people of the guidelines.

“People who weren’t wearing masks,” Derderian said. “We reminded them that this is not a matter of recommendation or please do – it is mandatory. Wear a mask.”

On Monday, Pasadena will be the only city in Los Angeles County to have open playgrounds. Residents said they hoped to continue to have at least that option for an outdoor escape.

“You can’t trap us in our homes,” said Marian Jocz, who lives in the San Fernando Valley. “We need exercise and fresh air.”

Meanwhile, there are others who believe more restrictions may be needed.

“We don’t want a photocopy of 2020 in 2021,” said Derek Wells, a Pasadena resident. “So we better start taking the measurements now.”

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