The State has prohibited all nonessential operations and gatherings from 10 p.m. - 5 a.m., effective 11/21/20 through 12/21/20, click here for details. City Hall remains closed to the public. Click here for the latest COVID-19 information and click here to connect with a helpful staff member.

Business Reopening

The timeline for reopening Santa Monica businesses will align with Los Angeles County and the State of California. Where the two conflict, the City will follow whichever guidance is stricter.  Every business must comply with public health reopening guidelines, which include physical distancing and infection control practices.


Reopening Protocols

Every business must follow LA County’s public health reopening protocols for their sector. Find yours at https://covid19.lacounty.gov/recovery/ and publichealth.lacounty.gov/coronavirus.

As of November 25th, LA County Department of Public Health has updated and implemented stricter guidelines for the following sectors:

Restaurants, Breweries, and Wineries:

  • Restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive thru, and delivery services. 
  • Wineries and breweries may continue their retail operations adhering to current protocols.  
  • In person dining will not be allowed, at minimum, for the next 3 weeks.
  • See full guidance in Appendix I: Restaurants, Wineries, and Breweries

Personal Care Services:

  • Services only provided by appointment
  • Services requiring removal of face coverings is not permitted
  • Food and drinks cannot be served to customers
  • See full guidance in Appendix R: Personal care establishments

Establishments open for indoor operations:

  • Occupancy is limited to 25% maximum capacity

Nonessential Retail:  

  • Must close from 10 p.m. - 6 a.m.

Cardrooms & Outdoor Family Entertainment:

  • The number of customers is limited to 50% maximum outdoor capacity

Business Occupancy Capacity Guidance

The City of Santa Monica has issued local guidance for businesses who are required to re-open at a limited capacity. The local guidance will be aligned with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health and will specifically apply to retail establishments, restaurants, and gyms.  

Business Reduced Capacity Guidance

Business Occupancy Sign

As of November 20th, Public Health has implemented stricter guidelines for the following sectors:

Restaurants, Breweries, and Wineries:

  • Restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive thru, and delivery services. Wineries and breweries may continue their retail operations adhering to current protocols.  In person dining will not be allowed, at minimum, for the next 3 weeks.
  • See full guidance in Appendix I: Restaurants, Wineries, and Breweries

Cardrooms & Outdoor Family Entertainment:

  • The number of customers is limited to 50% maximum outdoor capacity

Establishments open for indoor operations:

  • Occupancy is limited to 25% maximum capacity

>> The Santa Monica Cares Toolkit includes decals and signage for you to use as part of implementing your social distancing protocol.

Recommendations for Business Continuity

  1. Crowd Control: Prepare to tightly regulate the number of people entering and exiting your business at any given time through queuing and accept reservations/appointments.
  2. Food + Beverage Sector: You may consider scaling back on major food supply orders in the event of future restrictions.
  3. Pick-Up & Delivery Options: Since LA County has met the threshold of a 5-day average of 4,000 cases or 1,750 hospitalizations per day, you should plan on operating for pickup/delivery for at least the next 3 weeks.
  4. Review Curbside Pick-Up instructions and ensure you have necessary signage for changing operations.
  5. Monitor the Current Situation: Additional closures will be based on worsening Countywide COVID-19 data. Be prepared and monitor data available to the public.
    • Know the LA County Thresholds:
      • Five-Day Average New Case + 4,000  OR Hospitalizations +1,750/day: Outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries, and bars prohibited. Businesses able to offer pick-up and delivery services.
      • Five-Day Average New Cases +4,500 OR Hospitalizations +2,000/day: Safer at Home Order mandated for three weeks allowing only essential and emergency workers and those securing essential services to leave their home. 10pm – 6am curfew to be mandated, with essential workers exempt.
    • Track Hospitalizations here.
    • Track 5-day COVID-19 Case Average: The City’s COVID-19 dashboard now features the 5-day COVID case average for easy reference:
  1. Promote Your Essential Business: If your business offers an essential service, this is a good time to   “Santa Monica is Open For Business” map.
  1. Feature Your Business During the Holidays: Consider submitting a featured gift idea to the Buy Local Santa Monica Holiday Gift Guide as we help to message to our residents the importance of supporting local during the holidays www.buylocalsantamonica.com/holidaygifts2020/.  We are also including COVID-safe messaging re. any changes in operations – e.g. curbside pickup, gift certificates by email, delivery, etc.
  2. Share Changes in Operations with your Staff: Empower and educate your staff so they can help communicate changes to your customers. Provide DPH’s tips on managing non-compliant customers.
  3. Keep Your Workforce Healthy: COVID happens, even to businesses that do all the right things. Ensure staff feel supported in not coming to work if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If you do have a staff case of COVID-19, take proactive steps to control the spread to limit the impact on your team.

Santa Monica Shines COVID-19 Assurance Program/Santa Mónica Brilla COVID-19 Programa de Garantía

The Santa Monica Shines COVID-19 Assurance Program is a new platform geared to help our business community understand and meet COVID-19 safety requirements. The FREE online program is designed to support businesses safely reopen and operate during this health emergency. This achievement includes a window cling to proudly display to our community!

El Santa Mónica Brilla COVID-19 Programa de Garantía, una nueva plataforma orientado a ayudar a nuesta comunidad de negocios comprender y cumplir con los requisitos de seguridad de COVID-19. El programa GRATUITO en línea está diseñado para apoyar a los negocios a reabrir de forma segura y operar durante este emergencia de salud. Este logre incluye una etiqueta para la ventana para mostrar con orgullo a nuestra comunidad!

Start the COVID-19 Assurance Program


Plastic Bag Ban Resumes

The City’s plastic bag ban resumed on July 1, 2020. This means customers can resume bringing reusable bags when making essential trips. >>Learn more.

Curbside Pickup Signage

Good through December 31, 2020.

Neighboring businesses may share a meter.  If they share the Curbside Pickup meter, they will need to include both business names and overall hours of operation.  Outside of the posted hours, the parking meter will revert to paid, public parking for the public and Parking Enforcement and can be enforced by PD.  The parking meter must be in front of or near their business.  Businesses may ONLY designate parking meter for Curbside Pickup/Delivery Zone.  They are not permitted to use red zones, delivery zones or ADA parking, alleys, etc.  If they have questions or need guidance on a suitable location, they may call Economic Development at (310) 458-8906 or email econdev@smgov.net.

Download Here

Review Guidelines for Curbside Pickup

Santa Monica Cares Reopening Toolkit

Created in collaboration with City partners. Includes: Signage for curbside pickup and health rules; floor decals, graphics for email, web, and social media.

>>Download from Google Drive

>>Review the Santa Monica Cares Program Overview and Guidelines. Includes copy you can use.

County of Los Angeles. COVID-19 public health signage

LA County has helpful COVID-19 related signage and flyers translated into many languages on a wide range of topics, including handwashing, wearing cloth face coverings, and physical distancing. Find the files at publichealth.lacounty.gov/coronavirus.

>>Download "Notice to Customers" (English)

>>Download "Notice to Customers" (Spanish)


Stay informed about Santa Monica's Economic Recovery


Back to top