Georgia restaurant tables can now be positioned a little closer, more people can get together and vulnerable residents are no longer expected to stay home as Governor Brian Kemp loosens COVID-19 restrictions.
Gov. Kemp has said this is all part of an effort to show that “Georgia is open for business.” He made the announcement last week rolling back most of the restrictions put in place a year ago.
For example, restaurant tables will now be required to be only 3.5 feet apart instead of the previous 6 feet. People in movie theaters can sit closer, and there’s no longer a 50-person limit on gatherings when people are closer than 6 feet, which could allow larger indoor concerts and conventions.
[SPECIAL SECTION: COVID-19 Vaccine in Georgia]
“As cases and hospitalizations have continued to decline, and more Georgians are being vaccinated, the Governor is continuing to protect lives and livelihoods by repealing remaining restrictions to help Georgians get back to normal,” Kemp said in a statement.
So far, more than 19,000 Georgians have died from COVID-19.
Some business owners say they don’t intend to change much for now.
“It’s very difficult, because I’m not getting that opportunity to make that revenue. And on the other side, you know, it’s the safety issue. So, you know, I’m in the, I gotta be honest, I’m in the middle,” said Houcke’s Grille, in Canton, general manager Scott Spilberg.
But others said they appreciate the flexibility.
The owner of Table and Main restaurant in Roswell, Ryan Pernice, said revenues are off by about 50% over pre-pandemic levels.
“For me, the governor’s order gives us more flexibility as patrons and guests to determine which business meets me where I’m at on my own comfort level,” Pernice said.
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Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.