Gov. Reeves will allow restaurants, parks to re-open Thursday

Gov. Reeves will allow restaurants, parks to re-open Thursday

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced an update to his safer-at-home order that will allow restaurants and parks to re-open beginning Thursday.

The new guidelines go into effect at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 7. The safer-at-home order will stay in place until 8 a.m. on Monday, May 11.

There are certain steps restaurants will have to take before they are able to open for in-house dining:

  • Before in-house dining can resume, the entire restaurant and bar must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized top to bottom.
  • All restaurants and bars are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
  • Cloth masks must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear that mask throughout their shift.
  • All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • No more than 50% seating capacity in both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and floor plans must be updated to ensure at least 6 feet between each group. Party sizes will be limited to no more than 6 people per table.
  • Bars and bar areas that do no offer food services are to remain closed.
  • Minimizing person-to-person contact through technology, like mobile or online reservations and contact-less payment, is encouraged.
  • Customers will be screened upon entry. Restaurants and bars must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in. 
  • Cafeteria-style buffets and food stations that are manned by restaurant staff are allowed with appropriate barriers to limit contact. Self-service buffets, food stations, and drink stations are prohibited.
  • All restaurants and bars must place hand sanitizer at all entrances, hostess stations, in/near bathrooms, and at cashier stations.

Indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people, and a maximum of 20 people for outside activities. Parks will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with social distancing guidelines in place.

“I don’t want to wait if there are steps that we believe we can safely take now to ease the burden on Mississippians fighting this virus. There are thousands around the state that are set to close their doors for good. They cannot hold on much longer. I hope that this will not only be some much-needed relief for those restaurant employees but also provide for some joy for the people of Mississippi,” said Governor Tate Reeves.

Reeves said there is no way salons and barbershops will be able to safely re-open at this time.

“I want you to get back to work, but I can’t put the people in our state at an unreasonable health risk to do so,” he said.

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