Restaurants facing new challenges as mandates go into effect


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Restaurants and bars in Oklahoma are now facing a new challenge as another round of mandates go into effect Thursday.  

“It is what it is…What we have to do is make sure that the government doesn’t shut us down again so the best way to do that is come out with new protocols where everybody is really happy and feels safe,” said Bob Weiss, owner of Around the Corner Restaurant in Edmond.

Starting Thursday, restaurants will be required to maintain social distancing of six feet between guests inside. If the space for distancing is not available, they will also be allowed to separate tables using dividers.  

Weiss says they are using dividers made out of wood and plexiglass and will also use signs to close tables if necessary.

“They’re gonna notice anti-bacterial wipes at the front door that they can take out. Of course, hand sanitizer is everywhere,” he said.  

Governor Kevin Stitt said in a news conference Monday that the new rules aren’t to hurt businesses but instead, to help slow the spread of COVID-19. He says the goal is to separate people, which he says has been proven by science to prevent the spread.

“I’ve been saying these for months, they work and we need your help. From the beginning I’ve promised Oklahomans to always make the right decisions based on the facts and the data here that we’re seeing in Oklahoma,” said Stitt.  

Weiss says he’s committed to keeping both his family and his customers safe and is hoping for the best.  

“The most important thing is to have the customers feel comfortable. If they don’t feel comfortable, they’re not gonna come in and eat,” said Weiss.

Starting Thursday, all restaurants and bars will also be forced to close at 11 p.m. nightly. Restaurants will be able to utilize the drive-thru or curbside pickup to continue serving food.

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