New restrictive COVID guidelines go into effect Thursday in St. Louis City

Coronavirus

ST. LOUIS – New and tighter COVID-related restrictions begin Thursday in the City of St. Louis at places that serve alcohol. It’s because of the number of infection cases among young people and stubbornly high numbers at hospitals.

“51% of the new cases were young people in their 20s and 30s,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said.

City officials said the young adult population will grow in the next few weeks as students from out of town return to local colleges.

Businesses that serve alcohol like the BBQ and Whiskey Saloon in the Central West End will have to close at 11 p.m. every night instead of 1:30 a.m. The number of customers that can be served inside will be limited to 50 percent of occupancy.

“It’s going to put a pinch, it’s going to bit us in the end,” said Phil Czarnec, owner of BBQ and Whiskey Saloon.

Czarnec said while his income drops his costs remain steady and he thinks the city could help out local businesses.

“They should relieve us in other areas like MSD, like water,” he said.

A few blocks away, the folks at Scarlett’s Wine Bar said they already close at 11p.m. and only seat 50 percent and their seating is all outdoors.

“For the most part, no, it should not hit our restaurant economically,” said Lisa Sauders, manager at Scarlett’s.

Big event spaces and venues like the St. Louis Zoo will have to cut back to 50 percent capacity.

A St. Louis Zoo spokeswoman said they’ve been doing that since June. Plus, the zoo requires free reservations, which people seem to like in the age of COVID-19.

The zoo said they have room for 12,500 people a day. They’ve only seen more than 10,000 four times since they began free reservations June 13.

One pizza place owner in the Central West End said he closes around 9 p.m. every night because there just aren’t enough customers like before COVID-19. An 11 p.m. closing right now really doesn’t matter to him.

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