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New health measures will have little effect on restaurants

Posted at 10:37 AM, Oct 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-18 11:40:00-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Yesterday, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that because of a spike in COVID-19 cases, he would be reinstating some restrictions in an effort to curb the spread.

On Wednesday, that new directed health measure will be put in place, but it will have very little effect on most restaurants.

Unlike most indoor spaces which will have to limit occupancy to 50%, restaurants can still operate at 100% capacity, but they can no longer seat more than eight people at a table. Guests must stay seated except when placing an order, using the restroom or playing a game. So, essentially, no more standing at the bar or walking around.

Chip Allen, events coordinator and manager at Upstream Brewing Company says these new restrictions really won't change the restaurant experience for most guests.

“It’s really nothing different than what we’re currently already doing," Allen said. "We’re already encouraging social distancing in our establishment, due to our size; we are limiting individuals to the amount of tables that we have.”

While Allen says most restaurants shouldn’t have to adapt too much come Wednesday, he is a bit concerned about the colder weather closing outdoor seating options.

"We’ve been very luck through the month of October that the weather’s been fairly mild so far, so we’ve been able to continue to seat it," Allen said. "It’s very much the most popular section in the restaurant. Individuals are conscious about the fact that they need to social distance. Staying outside seems to work for them and it's working for us.”

Allen is hoping that as they bring guests back inside more, that the health measures and guidelines will prevent the need for further restrictions.

“It’s going to hurt a little bit, but we hope that with the changes in the rules that come on Wednesday, that cases start to go down again," Allen said. "And hopefully we can continue to stay open and continue to move forward.”