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Santa Barbara Co. restaurants happy to be in the red tier

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Posted at 6:43 PM, Mar 17, 2021

After months of waiting to move into a less restrictive tier, Santa Barbara County will now be able to allow local businesses to re-open indoors with modifications after moving into the red tier.

"Wow, I didn't realize how much I missed it until, you know, you get family coming in, you get friends who you want to meet with,” said Lompoc resident Dallas White.

After several months of indoor dining restrictions, the county was able to move into the red tier Wednesday after the state reached its vaccine equity metric of 2 million doses.

Over at Sake Sushi and Korean BBQ in Lompoc, the manager said they've been preparing to re-open for a while.

"We've been getting a lot of support throughout the years, not throughout the years but just since COVID hit and I think everyone here is really happy about that, including the customers,” said Cristian Cho.

He adds they have not had to lay off any employees.

Down the street at Sushi Teri, they were only offering takeout due to lack of space outside.

The managers there say they also had to cut down hours dramatically. But now, that won't be the case.

"So I called everybody to come back to work and everyone is so happy, yeah,” said manager Sisira Konda-Gedara.

Residents are also now excited indoor dining is allowed in the county.

"Happy to be able to sit inside so we can support them, support their families because they are struggling through COVID just like we are. I think it's a huge help for our community and a way we can help each other out,” said Kyle White.

In order to move into the orange tier, if metrics allow, the county must stay in its current red tier for three weeks.