Restaurants and retail stores in most of Tennessee’s counties can increase their capacity starting Friday if they follow certain guidelines, and large attractions such as amusement and water parks, auditoriums and theaters, and zoos and large museums can re-open under certain conditions on Friday.
Restaurants and retailers had been limited to 50 percent capacity since re-opening the week of April 27. There is no certain capacity limit for restaurants, as a percentage, under the updated guidelines released by the Tennessee Economic Recovery Group on Wednesday. Instead, the focus is on making sure tables are properly spaced.
The restaurants and retailers had been closed for about a month as the state tried to reduce the spread of COVID-19, a contagious respiratory disease that can be deadly.
Under the new guidelines, restaurants and retail stores can increase their capacity starting Friday as long as they continue to follow social distancing protocols. For restaurants, those protocols include continuing to space tables six feet apart—or installing physical barriers where adequate separation isn’t possible. Bars are to remain closed unless they are used for seated, in-restaurant dining where there is six feet of separation between customer groups. Live music is permitted with certain precautions, including maintaining at least 15 feet of separation between performers and an audience in order to reduce potential exposures.[Read more…]