St. Louis City, County restaurants can open 100%; customers aren’t 100% sure they’ll go back just yet


ST. LOUIS – All bars, restaurants, and businesses in St. Louis City and County can fully reopen with COVID restrictions. But customers say they’ll be cautious in returning.

Management at Rich & Charlie’s restaurant in south St. Louis County is thrilled that the city and county are permitting restaurants to open full capacity but say it’s not truly 100%.

Restaurants and bars can stay open to their regular closing hours and allow 100% capacity but must still comply with CDC social distancing and face mask guidelines. A restaurant the size of Rich and Charlie’s still must put six feet between tables, which means it can return to only about 60% capacity.

Customers enjoying lunch say it may take time to get used to bigger crowds in restaurant and bars.

“So truthfully, I probably won’t come in. I might do an outside table if there’s good room outside,” said Jill Fitzgerald of south St. Louis County.

All restaurant employees still must wear masks and customers must wear them when they enter and are moving around but not when they are eating and drinking.

“I am kind of used to this where there’s not many people here,” said Janis Stewart of Oakville. “It does seem adjusting to that you’ll feel that you’re more around crowds.”

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and County Executive Dr. Sam Page held a joint news conference to announce the new Reopen STL order.

“We recognize that social distancing six feet apart indoors is not necessarily a hundred percent in many venues, and we understand that, and we’ve worked closely with our restaurant advisory group to get to a place that is safe for workers and safe for customers,” Page said.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force said last week that it is too soon to return to normal. Page says that the new health guidelines are a pathway back to normal. People still need to wear masks indoors, at large outdoor events, and socially distance.

“This is the new normal and not a return to normal and please stay vigilant and stay masked up, continue to wash your hands, and stay socially distanced,” Jones said.

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