Shelby County health officials have ordered new restrictions on restaurants, but have allowed their dining rooms—with capacity limits—to remain open for the time being.
In the health department’s latest directive, which takes effect Monday, restaurants and bars must return to 50 percent occupancy and are required to end service at 10 p.m. A two-hour cap on dining remains in place, along with no bar seating.
Establishments will need to get stricter about masking, only allowing patrons to remove their face coverings while physically eating or drinking. Parties are limited to tables of six, with no more than four adults, all coming from the same household.
The directive applies the same rules to movie theaters.
Gym patrons are required to be masked at all times, except while swimming or showering.
Local health officials are also urging, but are not allowed to mandate, that schools suspend close-contact sports in line with health department findings that the majority of school-related COVID cases are linked to athletics.
With local hospital capacity dwindling and new COVID cases steadily rising, officials indicated earlier this week that new business restrictions were in the works and that they would need to be in place for about a month with the goal of helping to bring transmission rates back down.