COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky bars and restaurants are finally reopening after weeks of closing indoor dining due to a COVID-19 executive order from Gov. Andy Beshear.
Beshear announced the state’s restaurants, bars, gyms, and other businesses can return to 50% capacity limits starting Monday.
Bill Whitlow, owner of Rich’s Proper Food and Drink, says the past few weeks have been like a rollercoaster.
“It’s been exhausting. Honestly, it’s just been mentally exhausting just continuously trying to think of - these are not situations we’ve had before,” Whitlow said.
He compares being shut down for indoor dining to a kick in the shin.
“Revenue was definitely down, it was down half,” Whitlow said. “We’re an oyster house that wasn’t able to sell oysters for a couple of weeks.”
However, now with restrictions lifted, Whitlow says they are happy the time has finally come.
“We’re excited to get that back in, we’re excited to get people back in the doors, and we’ve already got people coming in for lunch today, doing carry-out orders,” Whitlow explained. “We’re just happy to be here.”
Restaurants and bars can open with mask requirements and capacity limits. Also, restaurants and bars are required to stop food service at 11 p.m. and will have a curfew of 12 a.m.
Some business owners say the previous restrictions did not affect them.
“Well we never really opened, we have been closed for dine-in since before the real outbreak,” Kung Food Chu’s Amerasia General Manager Annabelle Hussey said. “We closed early a week prior. So, you know we weren’t as affected as the other businesses were in the central. We were more prepared, I think. It’s still a loss but, luckily for us, we have been able to survive off of carryout and delivery and things like that.”
While customers can come into Kung Food Chu’s Amerasia to order and pick up their carryout items, the restaurant is not allowing people to dine in.
“Us, the customers, the staff, I don’t think anyone’s ready for that,” Hussey said. “I understand some businesses have to do it, but we’re lucky enough that we don’t have to, we don’t want to risk anything.”
Gyms, recreation centers, theaters, venue spaces, and other similar businesses are also back at 50% capacity starting Monday.
“It’s awesome and everyone’s super excited,” CrossFit Trainer at Newport Fitness Rett Moreland said. “I know our Facebook page there’s a lot of good comments how people are excited to get back in here and do the group fitness because it is about the community and culture here and we all have that comradery togetherness in group so it will be very familiar to be back in that group exercise.”
And of course, all the proper safety measures will need to be followed.
“Whether it has been boxing in the floor with the tapes so social distancing and we sanitize just about everything all day every day,” Moreland said.
On Monday, Gov. Beshear reported 1,802 new COVID-19 cases and 17 more deaths in the state.
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