Mid-South business headlines: Shelby County health directive clarifies bar closure, institutes more restaurant requirements

Mid-South business headlines: Health directive clarifies bar closure, institutes more requirements

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Leaders with the Shelby County Health Department have announced a new health directive for businesses in Shelby County.

The enforcement comes after COVID-19 cases quickly surged, and a three-day visit to Shelby County last week by federal officials and the CDC.

The health department requires that bars close altogether and restaurants must close at 10 p.m. starting Thursday.

Since releasing the health directive, county officials have clarified what is defined as a bar.

“The primary distinction between a bar and a restaurant is if half of its sales are food or not food,” said Greg Akers, Editor-in-Chief of the Memphis Business Journal. “So a bar... they may serve food, in fact they do have to serve food of some kind. But if they don’t sell so much food that it’s more than half of their sales, then they’re considered a bar. And as such, they would be subject to having to close.”

Akers says this includes adult entertainment venues and clubs.

The Memphis Business Journal spoke with local bar owners who say this is tough on them and they didn’t see it coming.

“Same goes for restaurant owners who have this new 10 p.m. curfew... That really puts a hurt on them too, because they may make a lot of money after 10 p.m.,” said Akers. “This really cuts into the revenue that they were able to get right now.”

Additionally, many businesses like restaurants, theaters and salons now have to “maintain a record of all patrons to include, at a minimum, first name, last name, time of service/attendance, and cell phone or other contact number to help with contact tracing.

You can find this story and more online at MemphisBusinessJournal.com

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