Los Angeles County's ban on outdoor dining can remain in place until early February, the California 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled.
According to court documents, the appeals court has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 10, allowing the superior court judge to justify his earlier decision to block the ban, which limits bars and restaurants to take-out, drive-through and delivery services only.
The appeals court had previously delayed enforcement of a judge's order blocking the ban from taking place.
The court's latest action -- filed on Dec. 18 -- means that the ban can remain in effect at least until the hearing.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled in favor of the California Restaurant Association and said that health officials in Los Angeles must show scientific evidence to justify the three-week ban on dine-in service, which was enacted on Nov. 25.
The association had argued that the measure should be blocked until the county provides "supporting medical and/or scientific studies and evidence that the operation of outdoor dining establishments poses an unreasonable risk" to the public.
The association's initial request to block the ban had been denied a week before that. However, the superior court judge overseeing the case said he would reconsider hearings on the matter if restaurateurs provided new evidence, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The CRA has fought hard against the measure since it was enacted and is accusing the county of relying on a "questionable national study" rather than local data to determine that establishments -- which are already reeling from the pandemic -- should be shut down again, according to a video posted on YouTube.
Shortly after a judge ruled in favor of the association, the county officials appealed the decision.
“The law says that in a public health crisis, the health officer must act urgently and swiftly to stop the transmission of disease and to protect public health and safety,” officials from the Department of Public Health said in a statement earlier this month, according to the Times.
Earlier this fall, during a board of supervisors meeting, health official Dr. Muntu Davis said restaurant-specific data was scarce and that a CDC study targeting 11 different outpatient health care facilities in 10 states was the "best information we have." The study found that those patients with COVID-19 were twice as likely to have dined out at a restaurant.
Davis said "as a public health department we have to look at the highest risks, and where we can reduce those risks" adding that restaurants fit the high-risk category.
The ban has faced an onslaught of pushback from county officials and restaurant owners who fear that restaurants won't make it through the additional shutdown.
However, authorities said the purpose of the ban is to help "reduce the possibility for crowding and the potential for exposures in settings where people are not wearing their face coverings."
Regardless, there is still an overriding regional stay-at-home order, which impacts four out of the five regions in the state, that limits restaurants and bars to takeout and delivery service only.
Representatives for the California Restaurant Association did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.