MEMPHIS, Tenn. – – New health rules for Shelby County bars and restaurants took effect Monday. Customers are now required to keep their mask on unless they’re sipping a drink or taking a bite of food. The new rules were put in place by the health department because of an infection curve officials say is trending upward.
Customers WREG talked with have no problem with the changes.
“It is what it is right now,” Sunshine Landry said, “So, we’re just doing what we have to do to make it through.”
“We have to adjust and move with the flow and adapt,” Franklin Wallace said, “So, it’s fine.”
But Alchemy owner Nick Scott says it’s not fine. On top of the mask mandate, indoor seating is capped at 50 percent, guests who sit together have to live in the same household and the businesses have to close by 10 pm every night.
“That’s going to cut into some revenue,” Scott said.
Revenue he says is already down 45 percent and now, with additional rules, he fears he’ll lose even more business.
“I definitely feel like these restrictions are going to deter people from coming out,” Scott said, “We come out to have fun. We come out to socialize and this is not fun.”
But it’s still fun enough for customers like Wallace who are grateful the bars and restaurants are at least still open.
“If it’s an option between everything being shut down or abiding by a few rules… beggars can’t be choosers,” Wallace said.
Bars and restaurants that don’t comply with the rules can be fined or shut down depending on the offense. It’s unclear how long these restrictions will remain in effect.