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City Council Moves to Protect Consumers during Pandemic

Post Date:03/18/2020 3:10 PM

Press Release: Manhattan Beach City Council Moves to Protect Consumers during Pandemic By Adopting Urgency Ordinances to Address Price Gouging and Evictions (PDF)


Bruce Moe, City Manager
City of Manhattan Beach
(310) 802-5053

Manhattan Beach City Council Moves to Protect Consumers during Pandemic By Adopting Urgency Ordinances to Address Price Gouging and Evictions

Manhattan Beach, CA (March 18, 2020) – In compliance with County of Los Angeles Public Health Officer orders, the City of Manhattan Beach will be implementing significant restrictions on the operations of bars and restaurants in the City. These changes include:

  • Requiring the closure of bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, gyms, fitness centers, movie and performance theaters, bowling alleys and arcades.
  • Eliminating seated options at restaurants, but allows for restaurants to continue to serve food to customers via delivery, take-out or drive-thru.
  • Exempting sites and situations where people obtain essential services and essential goods to meet their basic needs, such as:
    • Grocery stores or retail stores;
    • Pharmacies;
    • Places of transit (i.e. airports, metro stations, or bus stations);
    • Hospitals or health care facilities;
  • Prohibiting gatherings of 50 people or more.

The Order remains in effect throughout the proclaimed emergency.

“The City of Manhattan Beach has adopted the Los Angeles County Health Code and relies upon the experts at the County to provide guidance on a critical issue like the Coronavirus. We know that  Manhattan Beach’s business community will be significantly interrupted by this order, but it is more important that we take significant steps now to preserve the public’s health and fight the Coronavirus,” said Mayor Richard Montgomery. “I urge our community to practice social distancing and encourage everyone to adhere to these requirements in the County’s Order and the City’s Ordinance.” 

On March 17, 2020, the City Council adopted an Urgency Ordinance which expands and clarifies key portions of the Public Health Officer Order to address questions and concerns raised by the community. Among other actions, these expansions and clarifications include:

  • Prohibit non-essential retail businesses except for pick up, delivery and transactions by appointment. For essential businesses still operating that are authorized to operate under the Ordinance, businesses shall establish health and safety measures such as requiring employees to wear appropriate gloves and masks if employees come into physical contact with customers. 
  • Prohibit non-essential businesses such as: physical health and beauty services, including spas, hair salons, massage establishments, and nail salons, that do not provide medical care or services that supplement medical care as directed by medical professionals;
  • Allow seniors to continue to secure food within their housing facilities, if available;
  • Permit vehicles to deliver groceries to grocery stories;
  • Restrict self-service unwrapped food items, such as buffets from operating;
  • Temporarily increases signage flexibility for restaurant businesses to better inform the public of their modified operations;
  • Expand short duration loading zones near restaurants to increase convenience for residents picking up to-go orders at local restaurants.
  • Clarify and affirm that all gyms and fitness centers are to close, regardless of occupancy volume.

Please note, certain essential businesses are exempted from the Ordinance, including grocery stores, food banks, snack shops, banks, drug stores, car rentals, convenience stores, pharmacies, gas stations, car mechanics, pet supply stores, laundromats, hardware stores, dry cleaners, mailbox stores, package delivery businesses (such as Amazon, Fedex and UPS). The City may determine other exemptions.

The City Council took additional action to pass a resolution seeking that businesses implement social distancing policies, houses of worship suspend any programming that results in any group gatherings and calls upon the general public to refrain in any group activities short of small family gatherings.

“The Manhattan Beach City Council is calling upon all institutions in our community to follow health guidelines from public health experts including aggressive social distancing policies. Everyone has a role to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” urged Mayor Montgomery.

Another element of the resolution called on the public to stop hoarding life essentials and called upon retailers to begin limiting the purchase volume of certain items to ensure they are more broadly available to the public. Food retailers have indicated there is no evidence of a food supply shortage in Southern California.

The City of Manhattan Beach has proclaimed a Local State of Emergency and is implementing or carrying out sweeping operational changes to aid the crisis response to the COVID-19. These temporary changes are designed to ensure public safety and sustain the critical fundamental services of the City.

As the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic evolves, the City of Manhattan Beach will continue to provide updates. Information regarding the coronavirus is changing frequently. For accurate and up to date information about COVID-19, please visit DPH’s website, the City’s website, sign up for eNotifications and Nixle public safety alerts, and follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor, and Instagram.

For questions on the implementation of the County’s Order and new City measures related to addressing COVID-19, please send an email to


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