OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Slowly but surely Nebraska has been getting back to pre-coronavirus times, by following the state's directed health measures.
Phase 4 went into effect Monday, September 14 for most of the state. Lancaster County chose to remain in phase 3 through September 30. Governor Ricketts said that was not a state decision but rather Lancaster County’s decision.
Moving into phase 4, many restrictions were lifted or eased. Businesses are now allowed to hold up to 75% of their capacity indoors and 100% of their capacity outdoors.
For many businesses, moving into this phase will help bring back their clientele.
“Some people still think we’re closed, so hopefully this says ‘Oh, I can go there. I can go to the barbershop or wherever and get in’. But hopefully we’ll get back on a normal track,” Mike Branigan, the owner and operator of StyleHouse Barbershop, said.
The pandemic took a toll on StyleHouse, as Branigan says people aren’t getting haircuts as often.
“What we’ve noticed is people are going longer between haircuts. Some of your three and four week customers are going four and five weeks. A lot of that is people are working from home, they’re not going out as much, they didn’t have any weddings and activities and things to go to,” Branigan said.
Vince Bellino, the manager at Jerzes Sports Bar, said the restaurant isn’t really set up for take out only, so with the new directed health measures, the business is doing much better.
“A majority of our business was dining in the facility and even though we were allowed for take out and we could do sales that way, it’s not what our venue’s set out to do,” Bellino said.
Being able to reopen the dining room little by little has allowed Jerzes to see an increase in business again and especially take advantage of their outside seating.
“As we’ve started to phase back open, we’ve seen a steady increase in business and we’ve definitely ran back up here the past few weeks, to getting back to normal business,” Bellino said.
After phase 4, Ricketts said the next step is no restrictions.
“The next step after phase 4 will be no directed health measures so going back completely to no restrictions, the way we were pre-pandemic. Getting there is going to be difficult to predict,” Ricketts said.
Ricketts said there is no specific timeline for no restrictions yet.