Governor Bill Lee gives the go-ahead for restaurants (except those in Davidson and five other of the state’s most populous counties) throughout Tennessee to reopen starting Monday, April 27.
There is a set of strict guidelines that restaurants must follow, for those who choose to reopen. All employees will be required to wear gloves and face masks, plus have temperatures taken before reporting to work. No more than 6 diners may sit at a table. Restaurants must operate at 50% occupancy, while bar areas remain closed and live music is still prohibited. Restaurants are asked to clean all front-of-house surfaces every two hours and halt any buffets, shared condiments, or beverage stations.
Dubbed the “Tennessee Pledge”, Lee’s guidelines take effect in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties starting Monday. The six more populated counties will provide their own roadmaps. No timeline has been set here in Nashville for Mayor Cooper’s first phase of his roadmap to reopen the city, in which restaurants will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity and no bar service or live music. Cooper emphasized that Nashville’s reopening will be “data driven, not date driven”.
Earlier this week, the governor said that he would not extend the stay-at-home order beyond April 30. At least 170 Tennesseans have died from coronavirus while 8,200 have been infected by the coronavirus.