City of Fresno

Corona Virus (COVID-19)

Authorized Businesses Information

Effective May 26, the City of Fresno has re-classified all businesses as “Authorized” or and may open to the public following the City of Fresno’s Appendix A: Social Distancing Protocol, except those businesses the State of California says should be closed.

Those businesses include:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Wineries, tasting rooms, and lounges
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Community centers, public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas
  • Convention Centers
  • Concert venues and festivals
  • Live audience sport venues
  • Theme parks
  • Hotels and lodging for leisure and tourism
  • Nail salons and tattoo parlors

Those businesses that are not permitted to operate by the State of California at this time may be phased-in as Authorized Businesses through the process described below.

The first phase of Authorized Businesses were those considered to be low-risk businesses, which were allowed to open with Social Distancing Protocols to protect the health and safety of employees and customers on May 11, 2020.  The second phase of Authorized Businesses will be allowed to open on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

We will announce new business openings publicly and post the list on our website at www.fresno.gov.

The Mayor and three City Councilmembers will consult with the Fresno Recovery Committee on which categories of businesses to include within each particular reopening phase and any additional health and safety requirements.

The City Manager acting as the Director of Emergency Services will consult with and receive input from the Mayor and City Council, the Emergency Operations Management Team, public health officials and others and then make a determination of which types of businesses may be considered eligible as Authorized Businesses for each particular phase.

The City Director of Emergency Services will then announce the dates and times when and which types of Authorized Businesses may open.

Each subsequent phase of new Authorized Businesses will be evaluated to measure the impacts on public health indicators. Phases may be rolled back if public health indicators show substantially worsening impacts on public health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I get an application to reopen my business? Do I need an application to reopen my business?

There is no application necessary, nor is there a need for any business to formally request re-opening. Once the City authorizes your category of business, you can re-open as long as you follow the proper health and safety protocols.

How will I find out if my category of business has been authorized?

The City of Fresno has just re-classified all businesses as “Authorized” and may open to the public following the City of Fresno’s Appendix A: Social Distancing Protocol, except those businesses the State of California says should be closed.

Those businesses include:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Wineries, tasting rooms, and lounges
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Community centers, public pools, playgrounds and picnic areas
  • Convention Centers
  • Concert venues and festivals
  • Live audience sport venues
  • Theme parks
  • Hotels and lodging for leisure and tourism
  • Nail salons and tattoo parlors

We will announce new business openings publicly and post the list on our website at www.fresno.gov.

Who authorizes businesses to re-open?

The Mayor and three City Councilmembers will consult with the Fresno Recovery Committee on which categories of businesses to include within each particular reopening phase and any additional health and safety requirements.

The City Manager acting as the Director of Emergency Services will consult with and receive input from the Mayor and City Council, the Emergency Operations Management Team, public health officials and others and then make a determination of which types of businesses may be considered eligible as Authorized Businesses for each particular phase.

The City Director of Emergency Services will then announce the dates and times when and which types of Authorized Businesses may open.

Each subsequent phase of new Authorized Businesses will be evaluated to measure the impacts on public health indicators. Phases may be rolled back if public health indicators show substantially worsening impacts on public health.

Will restaurants be open for dining (in addition to carryout pickup and delivery)?

Restaurant dining rooms may reopen once they receive approval from the Fresno County Department of Public Health and the State of California and must follow those agencies’ guidelines and the applicable City of Fresno Social Distancing Protocols.

In addition, the Council approved an Emergency Ordinance to temporarily permit outdoor dining in the common areas of shopping centers and parking lots, with the permission of the property owner. Restaurants can serve alcohol as long as it is combined with consuming food, in compliance with California ABC requirements.

Do I have to wear a mask/facial covering when I’m eating inside a restaurant?

Restaurant patrons may remove their cloth face coverings when seated at their table.

How will I know what the specific health and safety protocols will be?

The City of Fresno will publish social distancing protocols for its business category and provide a form that has all of the requirements necessary to reopen. Businesses will have to complete and post at the entrance to their buildings.  The City is working with vendors to provide additional assistance to business owners to help them get ready to open.

How will businesses know how many customers to allow inside their store? Is the occupancy still 1 person per 500 square feet?

The City has eliminated the guideline of allowing only one customer per 500 square feet and simply requires each business to provide sufficient space to allow for adequate social distancing, according to the updated Appendix A.

It recommends limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time to allow customers and employees to easily maintain at least six-foot distance from one another at all practicable times. 50% of your allowed or typical occupancy is a good rule of thumb to use to calculate your limit.

Do I have to wear a mask/facial covering when I go to a store or office?

Yes, but only when entering businesses and government facilities. Businesses shall require their employees, customers, vendors and others to wear cloth facial coverings to enter their buildings. Otherwise, we strongly encourage everyone to wear cloth face coverings in public.

I have a small child / disability / asthma or other respiratory illness. Do I have to wear a mask / cloth face covering?

Per the most recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children younger than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance. However, businesses still have the right to refuse entrance to any customer for not wearing a mask (it’s just like “no shoes, no shirt, no service.”)

How will this process be enforced?

No one shall be criminally prosecuted for violation of this Order, except for flagrant, persistent, and/or immediate threats to public health and safety.  Administrative citations for violations by businesses may be issued pursuant to the Fresno Municipal Code.

For repeated or flagrant violations of the required closure, limitations, or social distancing requirements at a business location or facility, a police officer, with the approval of the Police Chief, or a code enforcement officer, with the approval of the City Attorney, may order a business to stop operations and close until further notice, or for the duration of the emergency.

What about child care facilities?

Daycares, childcare providers, or schools providing childcare for working families can continue operations but should follow the CDC guidance targeted for those operations found at the CDC Childcare Guidelines webpage.

My business has a public waiting room with seating. Should I limit access to it?

Implementing a system where customers/citizens can wait inside their vehicles prior to entering the business is strongly encouraged, as are pre-scheduled appointments to minimize interaction between people. In situations where this is not feasible, such as public transit and medical offices, businesses should develop public health and safety measures using the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Fresno County Public Health Department (FCDPH) websites as a guide, in addition to any guidance provided by the CDC.

How long will the City’s shelter in place order stay in effect?

The City’s shelter in place order ended on May 26, 2020, and immediately reverted to the State of California’s current stay-at-home orders, which have no set end date.

Are yard/garage sales authorized? What are the health and safety measures I need to do to hold a sale?

Yard sales are authorized in the Fresno Municipal Code, with a limit of four yard sales per year per residence. – The City has announced that yard sales and other sales of personal property conducted by residents on their premises are considered an authorized activity under State and Fresno County health and safety guidelines.

Here are the recommended protocols and restrictions for yard/garage sales:

  • No combined yard sales or mixing of personal property from multiple households.
  • No more than 10 people on the residential property at the same time.
  • Members of the household and their visitors should wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as protective facial coverings and disposable gloves, to avoid contact with materials being handled and sold.
  • Homeowners or resident hosts must provide receptacles for disposal of PPE.
  • Surfaces must be sanitized and disinfected frequently.
  • All residents and visitors should practice social distancing and homeowner or resident host should have a checkout line marked off in 6 foot increments.