Restaurants in Georgia and Tennessee and Anchorage, Alaska, welcomed diners back, albeit for a different dine-in experience than before the pandemic forced restaurants to close or limit their services to take-out and delivery. In Louisiana, the governor said restaurants will be allowed to seat people outside starting Friday, though without wait service at the tables.
In Georgia, dine-in service and movie screenings were allowed to resume a few days after some other businesses, including barbershops, gyms, tattoo shops, and nail salons, began seeing customers Friday.
“We’re ecstatic to have them back,” said Chris Heithaus, who manages 87 Waffle House restaurants. “A lot of people, I think, want to get back to the new normal, which will be social distancing and all that. But they will be able to eat inside the restaurant.”
At the popular chain known for hash brown breakfasts and its ability to stay open in the face of natural disasters, the “new normal” included employees wearing masks, booths closed to keep customers apart and traditional plastic placemat menus replaced by paper menus.
Gov. Brian Kemp announced last week that he would relax restrictions despite health experts’ warnings of a potential surge in infections and disapproval from President Donald Trump.
Kemp issued 39 requirements that restaurants must follow, including observing a limit of 10 customers per 500 square feet (about 46 square meters) and ensuring that all employees wear face coverings.
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May 01, 2020