ATLANTA – Some restaurants in Georgia reopened to eat inside but not all on Monday, as the state lifts some of the movement restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The reopening of restaurants and movie theaters comes shortly after other businesses – including barbershops, gyms, tattoo parlors, and nail salons – were cleared to receive customers. While some reopened their doors gratefully, others decided that the conditions were not in place and remained closed.
Governor Brian Kemp announced last week the relaxation of the measures despite warnings from experts that this could cause a spike in infections.
Kemp published 39 standards that all establishments must follow as a condition of reopening their doors, including that there should be no more than 10 customers for every 46 square meters (500 square feet) and that all employees have their faces covered “at all times ” Movie theater employees must enforce social distancing.
Eight customers walked into the Plucked Up Chicken & Biscuits cafe in Columbus Monday morning and “greeted each other from a distance,” said manager Alesha Webster.
The restaurant was complying with the rules imposed by the governor: constantly disinfecting surfaces, wearing gloves and masks, setting tables at distances of 2 meters (6 feet), and respecting social distancing, Webster said. In addition, there may only be 10 customers inside at one time, instead of the normal capacity of 45.
The effect of the pandemic on the venue has been brutal, Webster said, even though they have been open for take-away orders. The decision to reopen the site and offer service inside was difficult, he added.
“We don’t want people to criticize us for the simple fact that we are trying to survive,” he said.