'It's not fair': Governor Beshear responds to frustrations over new restrictions

Posted at 11:53 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 23:57:56-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — As frustrations mount for many in the bar and restaurant industry over the governor's latest order to close to indoor service, Governor Beshear says his new restrictions are meant to be a targeted approach to stop the spread of COVID-19.

At his briefing Thursday, Governor Beshear said the businesses that face new restrictions, including bars, restaurants, and gyms, were chosen because public health experts said they were the places where the virus spreads most often.

"It's not fair. This virus is not fair to them. It doesn't impact every business equally," he said. "...I'm trying to take action, and that action is not going to be perfect, but we're doing the best we can."

The restrictions are needed as hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 continue to climb, Governor Beshear said.

But many in the industry said they're concerned about what the changes will mean for their employees.

"This feels like a shutdown," said Britney Ruby Miller, CEO of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment.

In downtown Lexington Thursday night, people flocked to restaurants to dine-out before the changes go into effect Friday.

"They want to support us, so we have a good amount of reservations tonight, and all of those funds are going to go directly to our impacted staff," Ruby Miller said.

Governor Beshear said he hopes the support will translate into takeout and delivery orders while his mandate is in effect through December 13.

"I want them to survive. I want them to ultimately thrive," he said.

Restaurants and bars that qualify can apply for up to $10,000 in state assistance, but many in the industry have expressed concern the amount will not be enough.

"It doesn't matter if you're a large restaurant or a small restaurant, $10,000 is not gonna cut it," Ruby Miller said.