Stores open doors as shoppers return to the streets

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Sage Boutique & Specialty Produce co-owner Dana Crittenden, left, and employee Carsyn Emerson serve customers in downtown Murrieta as retail restrictions are eased in Riverside County. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

Businesses throughout the Temecula Valley have opened their doors and are welcoming back customers after a nearly two-monthlong restriction on businesses due to COVID-19 was lifted May 8.

Shoppers can be found at a variety of locations throughout the valley visiting their favorite locally owned stores, boutiques, antique malls and specialty shops as life slowly begins the return to normal.

At the newly opened Sage Boutique & Specialty Produce next to the post office on Washington Street in downtown Murrieta, shoppers wandered into the store, browsing before carefully selecting their purchases, Saturday, May 16.

Sage Boutique & Specialty Produce co-owner Dana Crittenden welcomes customers to the new shop in downtown Murrieta after their grand opening May 9. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

Business was much the same at the many antique stores in Murrieta and Lake Elsinore that also reopened following the state mandated shutdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom relaxed county reopening criteria Monday, May 18, a move he said will allow most of the state’s 58 counties to begin allowing dining in restaurants and other services, The Associated Press reported.

The new criteria he outlined applies to counties that want to reopen faster than the state and eliminates requirements that a county have zero deaths and no more than one case per 10,000 residents over a two-week period. Instead, counties must have no more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents or no higher than an 8% positive rate among people testing for the coronavirus.

Shoppers look at antiques for sale at Reborn Treasures in downtown Murrieta as retail restrictions are eased in Riverside County. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

Other requirements include not having an increase in hospitalizations of over 5% for a seven-day period or less than 20 hospitalizations total over 14 days.

Newsom also said counties will soon be able to allow shopping in stores and hair salons to reopen.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Kim Harris can be reached by email at valleyeditor@reedermedia.com.

People walk in Historic Downtown Main Street in Lake Elsinore as a variety of small retail businesses open after restrictions are eased in Riverside County. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
An antique store reopens in Historic Downtown Main Street in Lake Elsinore as restrictions on businesses are eased in Riverside County. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo