Around 200 people marched down East Second Street Wednesday afternoon as a part of a march organized by the Long Beach Restaurant Association calling for an end to the coronavirus regulations being implemented in the city.
The Long Beach Health Department announced that outdoor dining programs, which once allowed Long Beach eateries to thrive, would be terminated Wednesday.
All gatherings, public and private, outside of immediate household members are also prohibited, per the order.
Nicky Claire, owner of George’s Greek Cafe, said she attended the march to represent her business.
“We just want to get our city back up and running and get our staff employed and bring business back to the city,” Claire said.
The group marched along Marina Drive and onto Second Street, escorted by Long Beach Police Department officers.
Elise Easom, a Long Beach resident, said she wants to see the city reopen “safely.”
“I think that taking the best precautions that we can, making sure that our hospitals aren’t overloaded, is really the only solution,” Easom said. “We have to keep students and their education alive, and we have to keep businesses alive and the economy alive.”
The crowd consisted mainly of local restaurant workers, owners and residents who expressed frustration with the changing status of COVID-19 regulations.
“I’m over here fighting for our jobs and for our families, and the holidays are coming and now most of us are going broke,” T, executive chef at Gladstone’s, said. “I know there’s a pandemic going on, but also there’s people that are in poverty right now, especially people that work in the restaurant industry.”
He expressed his concerns with the ban on indoor and outdoor dining, stating that coronavirus regulations are negatively affecting the restaurant’s business and its workers.
“We have no income coming in, and the government isn’t doing enough for us,” T said. “We need to reopen Long Beach again.”