By Kathie McDonald-McClure
During his COVID-19 update on August 6, 2020, Governor Andy Beshear said that the state will have new guidance and an order for bars and restaurants before his 4:00 pm update on Monday, August 10th. He said that the specifics have not yet been finalized. Nevertheless, he gave bars and restaurants a heads-up on what to expect.
Restaurants can expect to increase capacity back to 50%, but with some changes. He said that restaurants will need to prioritize outdoor seating. He indicated that many restaurants have already increased their outdoor seating in the last couple of weeks, which is much safer because “it keeps the virus down and will put us in better position” to contain the virus.
Bars can expect to be allowed to reopen but they will have an “enforced seat rule.” The Governor said, “If you go to a bar, expect to have a seat, expect to sit in it, [and] expect not to get out of it unless you’re going to the restroom.” He said that all the service and the orders will need to be at a table for the party that Kentuckians come to the bar with.
Both bars and restaurants are going to be expected to have their very last order served by 10 pm. Then there will be about an hour to allow time for the people served at 10 pm to consume what they are served before going home. He said that “we don’t want someone having a drink at 10:59 pm and then getting in their car right afterwards.”
The Governor said, “We think [these actions will] give us the best opportunity to avoid the mega spreading events, the super spreading events, and to encourage what we need to see from folks out there.” He then reminded Kentuckians of the 10-person limit on house gatherings, saying, “It’s really important though that we [don’t] exchange those later nights that might have been at an establishment for a house party.” He said we’re seeing this occur in other states and some officials have had to take additional measures to curtail such occurrences. As an example, he mentioned the Los Angeles Mayor’s announcement on August 5th authorizing the city to shut off water and power services to resident properties holding large house parties.