The Irvine City Council has approved a four-phase plan for reopening city facilities, services and programs and restaurants with safety guidelines in place as the state moves into Stage 2 of its reopening plan.

The council voted Tuesday night to allow expanded outdoor dining for restaurants, including the use of patios, common areas and parking lots to provide enough seating and maximize social distancing.

When the state moves into Stage 3, the city’s plan calls for playgrounds to reopen and practices and games can once again be held at city athletic fields, basketball and volleyball courts and stadiums, according to Melissa Haley, Irvine’s communications manager.

Facilities, including senior centers will open with strict social distancing and sanitization protocols in Stage 4. City swimming pools are not open, but the city will offer online water safety courses and expanded online classes in art and recreation, Haley said.

“We know that residents are anxious for city facilities and amenities to reopen,” Mayor Christina Shea said.

“We all look forward to the day when our fields and courts are busy with athletic events and our senior centers and community centers are full, but we must carefully reopen in a way that protects the health and well-being of our residents and city staff. This plan meets that goal and falls in line with California’s Resilience Road Map.”

Traditional summer programs and all-day summer camps previously scheduled to begin in June will be restructured, with lower-risk outdoor activities being phased in first. No field trips will be allowed, Haley said.

Docent-led tours at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy can resume with groups of less than 10 people, following proper social distance protocols, as well as open access days in the Irvine Open Space Preserve.

Visitors will need to register in advance and wear personal protective equipment, Haley said.

The Sizzlin’ Summer Concert series, scheduled to resume on July 12 at the Orange County Great Park, will be presented in a drive-in format. Movies on the Lawn will also be held in drive-in format at Great Park beginning Aug. 1.

Attendees can park their cars and enjoy a homemade picnic or purchase food from a gourmet food truck, Haley said.

The council also voted to begin a COVID-19 drive-through testing program at Great Park starting May 26 for all Irvine residents.

Antigen testing will be free for residents, even if they are asymptomatic, and antibody testing will be available as an “add-on” at a cost of $10 per person. The testing site will also accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.

Details about how to register for an appointment will be provided in the coming days, Haley said.

The complete four-phase plan is available at cityofirvine.org.

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