Struggling businesses impacted by new COVID-19 mandates

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO — The new COVID-19 mandates are causing major concerns for small businesses in San Diego already struggling to survive.

Workers at Farmer’s Table in Little Italy spoke to FOX 5 Saturday, saying they are worried they won’t be able to survive. The new roof of the outdoor dining at the restaurant will soon have to come down after new Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 regulations.

“I feel we move two steps forward and three steps backwards again,” said Sara Arjmand of Farmer’s Table. 

California is now requiring a mask mandate indoors regardless of vaccination status. Arjmand says the mandates have already caused cancelations during their busiest time of the year. 

“This year, with the whole mandate coming out a few days before the holidays started, it was just the timing was awful and it’s definitely going to hurt us because now it creates a fear where people are scared to go out again,” she said.

The new rules will also require vaccinated and unvaccinated employees to quarantine for 14 days if they are exposed — even if they test negative.

“I see both sides of it,” customer Antonio Alston said. “I have been keeping up with the news a little bit and see cases creeping up, so I understand it from a protection of people in the area, as well as those coming to the restaurant.” 

“I feel like we went through our vaccination,” Arjmand said. “We made all of our staff get mandatory vaccinated and now hoping that things would get easier, but things are not getting easier for us.”

Workers wonder if they can make it through the new year. 

“What are we trying to do,” Arjmand said. “Are we making it so difficult that we can’t stay in business anymore?”

Farmer’s Table is already seeing cancellations of 15-20% of their holiday party reservations. 

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