Restaurants unclear on reopening restrictions

Posted at 3:05 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 21:46:19-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Dining rooms and patios will look much different when restaurants re-open May 22.

Under Gov. Andy Beshear's guidelines, customer capacity will be limited to 33%.

Stacy Roof with the Kentucky Restaurant Association says many restaurants are unclear about the "do's and don'ts."

"They don't know what the regulations are going to be," said Roof.

In a zoom interview, she said many places are already planning on social distancing by spreading out tables and limiting customers. What's unclear she says is additional protocols such as, do customers wear masks along with staff?

"I'm guessing that his language, their language is going to say that unless you're consuming a product, you need to have a facial covering on your face," said Roof.

She says her group sent a recommended protocol to the governor's office, but has yet to hear back.

"It covers cleaning and sanitizing, it covers employee health and how to screen for that, things like facial coverings and gloves all of the things we all have to deal with," said Roof.

Roof is frustrated because she believes those who work in the industry and know the industry need a voice. She points out other states have set up guidelines from those in the hospitality business.

When asked if all of Kentucky's 7,500 restaurants are ready to re-open she said, "Some are, some aren't ready to re-open at that capacity. If you only have 50 seats, to say you can only have 20 people, isn't really worth opening your doors."

Roof says 10% or approximately 750 restaurants in the state will close permanently.