PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Nationwide COVID-19 restrictions have been eased for businesses and events.
Entrepreneurs have been eagerly awaiting this day, especially local restaurant and bar owners.
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Restaurants are pouring it out as statewide restrictions have been eased.
“It’s like Happy Easter to everyone!” said Christie Neff, who is the owner of Twelve Whiskey Barbecue.
On Sunday, indoor restaurant capacity increased to 75% for self-certified restaurants. If a restaurant is not self-certified, the owner can increase the capacity to 50% occupancy.
Restaurants can also resume bar service, serve drinks without food, and the curfew on removing drinks from tables has been lifted.
“That’s probably 50% of my restaurant bar, so hopefully it will be so much more,” said Neff.
The changes give Neff a token of relief. In December 2019 she bought Twelve Whiskey Barbecue on the south side.
“I bought it and owned it for 3 months and had to close it down so it was like a nightmare. I’ve signed my whole life to buy it. I say, “I’m going to be homeless,” said Neff.
She wasn’t the only one ready for the day. Your customers were ready too.
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“I think it’s great, especially for local businesses that have had problems last year and that we’re in right now. Twelve whiskeys are one of my favorite places. I’m glad they can actually make some money now,” said Alexander Roberts.
Other businesses such as gyms, casinos, shopping malls, and theaters can be 75% busy.
Film lovers look forward to experiencing the real cinema experience again.
“The experience wasn’t that fun, it’s more exciting when you hear everyone clapping at the end of the movie,” said Icesis Jones, who was just leaving the theater.
After a long year of the unknown, business owners of the future are cheering.
“I’m excited to see how life will turn out now, as if I don’t have to wonder if we’re open every week or not or if I have to worry about paying bills,” he told Neff. She also said, “The stress level was such a big roller coaster ride, like over and over again, but it seems like we’re at the end of the tunnel with the light and it’s only from up here.”
Indoor events can have a capacity of 25% while outdoor events can have a capacity of 50%.
Heads of State are still encouraging al fresco and takeaway dining.
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Customers are encouraged to continue to take precautions such as wearing masks and social distancing.