The City of Beverly Hills has issued more than three dozen citations to businesses and individuals for not complying with regulations put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The list of business includes prominent restaurants and shops, as well as office buildings in the Business Triangle. They were cited mostly for face covering or social distancing violations. Others were cited for lack of required County health protocol signage and for providing services after a required closure.
Beverly Hills announced its citation policy in April, when the state’s number of COVID-19 infections was trailing behind counterparts on the East Coast. Those numbers have now taken a turn for the worse. In the last few days, California has unseated New York as the state with the highest number of viral cases in the country.
Along with other cities in Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills has tapped the breaks on reopening the economy in recent weeks. Los Angeles County began to relax closures on businesses including salons and bars on June 19, but by July 13, had re-imposed restrictions on indoor services as infections rose.
As of July 23, Beverly Hills has issued approximately 42 citations out of a total of 4,292 contacts made with individuals and businesses, said City spokesperson Keith Sterling. Twenty-five of the citations were issued to individuals for not wearing face coverings; two for not social distancing and 16 for businesses out of compliance with safety mandates.
Cited businesses as of July 23 include: Benheart; Caffé Roma; Chef Ming’s Kitchen; Estiatorio Louka; Heritage Wines; MCM; Pliny; Prospect Gourmand; Rite Aid; Via Alloro; Blasteran; the Office Building at 340 N Camden; Pauly Solo Fitness; Ocean Prime; Gelato-Go and Frida Cantina Frida Mexican Cuisine.
The Courier was unable to obtain comments from the cited businesses before press time but will include them in next week’s issue.
“All persons shall wear face coverings when they leave their homes or places of residence if that person has potential to come within six feet of another person not a member of their household,” wrote Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman in a reminder email sent out on Friday. Face coverings must also be worn by all employees at businesses and restaurants in the City.
Under the City’s Municipal Code, the penalty for individuals cited for not wearing a face covering is $100 for the first offence, $200 for the second, and $500 for the third and subsequent offenses. Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Manhattan Beach, and Calabasas have all announced similar steps in enforcing the safety measures.
Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer issued a sobering statement this week: “Every family that loses a loved one to COVID-19 is left with a void in their lives that they will never be able to fill. A lax attitude to this virus can be deadly for someone you love. You could be infected, not know it, and pass the infection to someone you love who may not be as lucky as you. Please be caring of those around you, wear a face covering, maintain physical distancing and practice hand hygiene. It can save lives,” she said.
Beverly Hills will staff booths throughout the business district and parks on Fridays and Saturdays to answer the public’s questions about face coverings and safety measures.