Tennessee restaurant dining rooms allowed to reopen starting Monday – NewsChannel5.com

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WTVF) — Most counties in Tennessee will begin the return to normalcy as the state starts to reopen.

Starting Monday, Tennesseans can begin going out to eat again 89 counties of the state – but under strict guidelines.

This includes Williamson County, where restaurants like the Puffy Muffin are hoping that things will get back to normal soon.

Governor Bill Lee is calling the economic reopening “The Tennessee Pledge.” He’s asking businesses to take that pledge to operate in a safe way that slows the spread of COVID-19.

Restaurants can only open at 50% capacity. Tables inside need to be 6 feet apart to practice social distancing and groups of 6 or larger at a table is discouraged.

Gov. Lee is also asking employees to check their temperatures before coming to work.

Now even though it’s not mandatory, the state is encouraging employees to wear gloves and masks to work, and that goes for customers too.

Despite the guidelines, Gov. Lee said there won’t be any enforcement. It will be up to businesses to self-regulate.

“We think that the consumers will enforce them, the business community itself will enforce them, the industry groups that have influence and impact and develop guidelines for industries – that’s how this is going to be enforced,” Gov. Lee said.

While restaurants are allowed to open up at a limited capacity, some say it’s just not worth it.

At the Puffy Muffin in Brentwood, customers will still only be able to get take-out services this week. The owner, along with several other restaurant owners in Middle Tennessee, say it’s just not the right time to start reopening their dining rooms to customers.

Some restaurant owners who will not be reopening just yet say it’s because of safety concerns or because opening at half-capacity just doesn’t make financial sense.

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