The City of Albany is committed to supporting local businesses reopen safely. In this guide you'll find:
- Steps to reopen
- What businesses can reopen
- Specific regulations for reopening
- Advice and resources:
- Keeping staff safe
- Rearranging your space
- Moving outside
- Encroachment permits
- Outdoor waste bins
- Eviction protection
- Space for Outdoor Fitness Classes
- Restaurant-Specific Advice:
- Reducing foodwaste
- Outdoor alcohol licenses
STEPS TO REOPEN
- Check that you're on the permitted business list
- Develop a plan and complete a required Site-Specific Protection Plan
- Follow any industry-specific guidelines
- Acquire PPE for staff
- Get creative with your space
WHEN CAN YOUR BUSINESS REOPEN?
The following business types are currently allowed to operate:
- Essential businesses
- Low-risk outdoor businesses
- Non-emergency medical services
- Childcare and camps
- Limited personal services
- Outdoor museums
- Outdoor restaurant dining
- Religious services
- Outdoor fitness classes
A more detailed list of businesses currently permitted to operate can be found here. If you are not sure what category your business is in or whether you are allowed to reopen, contact the Alameda County Public Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alameda County has issued a Reopening Plan. The County will be analyzing COVID-19 indicators to determine when it is safe to take the next step in the reopening process.
All businesses are required to complete a Site-Specific Protection Plan which will guide each business through risk assessment, training employees to stay safe and screen themselves, and implement measures for disease control, disinfecting, and physical distancing. Your plan must be posted in a place where it can be easily seen by staff and customers and copies must be distributed to all employees.
Many business types have more specific requirements and special guidance. Please find the guide for your business below and read through it carefully. If your business is not listed below, you can find the statewide industry guidance reports here. Please be aware that the statewide guidance may vary from county guidance in some cases. In those instances, always defer to the stricter guidance.
Restaurants (Delivery, Takeout, Outdoor Dining only): Tables limited to 6 people from the same social bubble, and located 6 feet apart. See the full County Guidance here. Get assistance with this Restaurant Relaunch Toolkit.
Retail: Stores must limit capacity to 50% of normal maximum capacity or the number of people who can maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other at all times, whichever is lower. See the full County Guidance here.
Religious Services: Limited to fewer than 100 people or 25% of the building/area capacity, whichever is lower. See the full County Guidance here.
Outdoor Fitness Classes and Personal Training: Limited to 12 people at a time, spaced at least 6 feet apart at all times. Contact and equipment sharing is prohibited. Rent space for outdoor classes at the Ocean View Park tennis courts using our step-by-step registration instructions.
Advice and Resources
The following are resources, advice, and information on ways the City can support your business as you make a plan to reopen. If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas, please contact the Community Development department at (510) 528-5760 or email@example.com. The City is committed to helping business reopen safely and is able to work with your business individually to find solutions to your unique circumstances.
In addition, the Alameda County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers free, individualized and confidential one-on-one advising for existing businesses. The Alameda County SBDC is staffed by certified business advisors who provide business assistance and tools to aid business success. Business advisors can help small businesses through loan processes and COVID-19 response. Learn more and apply for an advisor today!
Keep Your Staff Safe
Signage is an important tool to let customers know your new standard of operation and to keep things running smoothly. Links to common signs you might use are provided below. All businesses are required by the County to post signage to inform all employees and customers that they should:
- Avoid entering or using the facility if you have COVID-19 symptoms
- Maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another
- Sneeze and cough into a cloth or tissue or, if not available, into one’s elbow
- Wash hands often
- Wear face coverings
- Do not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact
Rearrange Your Space
Think of ways to rearrange your space to ensure that physical distancing is possible. Consider reducing unnecessary tables, chairs, or other items to create more space inside; creating a clear path or line for in store activities such as ordering, picking up, and browsing; and putting sanitation stations or hand sanitizer in high traffic areas.
Maximize Outdoor Space
Expand your capacity by using the area outside your business such as the sidewalk and parking spaces. You can apply for a permit to use your sidewalk or parking space for business operations by contacting the City’s Planning Manager Anne Hersch at 1(510) 528-5765 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Planning and Transportation staff will evaluate each request to make sure that it meets basic safety requirements with respect to visibility, maintenance of the travel lane, and sufficient buffering between the travel lane and seating areas. Staff will not be evaluating aesthetics.
The City can also temporarily change minimum parking standards and parking time limits. If your business is near a private parking lot, you can also try working with the lot owner to use the space for business activity. Here are a few examples of ways to use outdoor space:
- An area for customers to form lines and make orders while staff operates inside
- Displaying select products for browsing on the sidewalk
- Outdoor dining space
Outdoor Waste Bins
If you are encouraging customers to engage in outdoor dining, please ensure you are providing proper waste and recycling receptacles. Businesses are responsible for providing their own waste, recycling, and organics containers for staff and customers. It is unlawful to dispose of any solid waste, recyclables, or organic materials originating from any source other than coincidental pedestrian traffic in City-owned trash cans.
Additionally, the City of Albany’s Mandatory Recycling and Organics ordinance mandates that all businesses and institutions:
- Provide containers and service of sufficient number, size and frequency for recyclable materials.
- Businesses and institutions that generate significant quantities (10 gallons or more) of organics (food scraps and/or compostable paper), such as restaurants: Provide containers and service of sufficient number, size and frequency for organics.
- Businesses and institutions that generate significant quantities* of organics, such as restaurants and grocery stores: Place food scraps and compostable paper in separate organics cart/bin for organics collection.
- Ensure recycling and organics containers are free from contamination. Only recyclable materials may be placed in recycling containers and only organics may be placed in organics containers
This means that all restaurants and other food service establishments should have proper containers available for staff and customers to properly recycle and compost waste generated on-site. If you have questions about providing sufficient organics and recycling containers to staff and customers, contact the City's Sustainability Coordinator Elizabeth Carrade at email@example.com or 510-528-5762.
Rent and Evictions
The City recently passed an ordinance stating that commercial renters cannot be evicted if they are unable to pay rent because of COVID-19. Read more here.
SPACE FOR OUTDOOR FITNESS CLASSES
Looking for a place to hold fitness classes? The Albany Recreation and Community Service Department’s registration system is ready to accept reservations for Ocean View Park tennis courts now, on a first come first serve basis, for 2-hour blocks Monday - Friday, July 1 – 31 for $43 per block. The blocks are as follows:
At the beginning there will be a three-block limit per week per gym. We will review this after a few weeks when we have a better sense of demand.
Ocean View park is on Buchanan Street just off the freeway, past the USDA complex. The park includes a parking area, with additional parking available on Buchanan Street.
Registration questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please remember that outdoor non-contact fitness classes are allowed with up to 12 people, including the instructor and must comply with the following conditions:
- The instructor and all participants must wear face coverings at all times, except when engaged in high-intensity aerobic activity
- The instructor and all participants must arrange themselves to provide adequate social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times. Greater distance is recommended for high-intensity aerobic activity.
- No member of the class may share equipment, and equipment should be sanitized between uses.
- The instructor of or organizer for the classes must obtain any required use authorizations from the owner or manager of the outdoor space, including permits for using parks required by any city, county, or district before undertaking the fitness classes.
- It is recommended that the instructor of or organizer for fitness classes consider maintaining contact information of attendees and that this information be kept by the event’s organizer for at least 21 days after the event. The purpose of this recommendation is to assist us with effective contact tracing in case of an outbreak that may have affected people attending the class(es).
Menus are a high-contact item in many restaurants. Disposable menus can be used to reduce spread, or reusable menus can be thoroughly cleaned between each use. You can also use these no-touch menu strategies to reduce waste and save time and money:
- Tape the menu on the front door, window, or counter
- Put a QR code in the same locations so customers can easily look at the menu on their phones
- Put the menu underneath a glass table so it’s visible but can’t be touched
- Encourage customers to order online and pick up
Reusable customer items including utensils, plates, breadbaskets, etc., must be properly washed, rinsed, and sanitized. Cleaned flatware, stemware, dishware, etc., must be properly stored away from customers and personnel until ready for use. Use disposable items only if proper cleaning of reusable items is infeasible.
For the full list of requirements for restaurants in Alameda County, see here.
Reducing Food Waste
If you have excess food left over at the end of the day, consider donating it to a local food bank, such as the Alameda County Community Food Bank, to help feed community members in need. Accepted products include meat, bread, produce, dairy, canned proteins and healthy snacks. Products must be sealed and include ingredients/allergen labels. Find more information, and access a donation form.
Outdoor Alcohol Licenses
If you have a license for on-sale retail of alcoholic beverages, you can apply for a temporary permit to serve alcohol outdoors adjacent to your business, including in sidewalks and parking lots. This temporary authorization was created by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to assist businesses with safe reopening during COVID-19. To learn more and file an application, go here.