California took a major step Monday in its emergence from pandemic shutdown orders when its public health department announced the statewide reopening of in-store retail shopping.

The retail guidance for in-person shopping that is already in place for certain counties now applies statewide, officials said in a statement. Retail does not include personal services such as hair salons, nail salons and barbershops.

“Subject to approval by county public health departments, all retail stores can reopen for in-store shopping under previously issued guidelines,” the health department said in a statement.

Click here to see the state’s guidelines for in-store retail shopping.

Monday’s announcement came as Gov. Gavin Newsom released guidelines for resuming in-person services at churches and other houses of worship.

“Together, our actions have helped bend the curve and reduce infections in our state. As sectors continue to open with changes that aim to lower risk, remember that COVID-19 is still present in our communities,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, the state’s public health officer and director of the health department. “As more of us may be leaving our homes, keeping physical distance, wearing face coverings in public, and washing your hands frequently are more important than ever to help protect yourself and those around you.”

Reopening at retailers is subject to approval by county public health departments. It was unclear when counties in Southern California might act to facilitate the resumption of in-person shopping.

Los Angeles County retail businesses inside enclosed shopping malls were allowed to reopen this weekend, but only for curbside pickup service.

LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn wrote to the governor last week to request the retail reopening.

Orange County has resumed in-restaurant dining and allowed curbside service for stores located in shopping centers.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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