Georgia Restaurants Opened Their Doors Today—Here’s How It Went

Georgia is one of the first states in the country to significantly ease social distancing restrictions.

“A lot of people, I think, want to get back to the new normal, which will be social distancing and all that,” Chris Heithaus, manager of 87 Waffle House restaurants in Georgia and the Carolinas, told the Associated Pressadding, “But they will be able to eat inside the restaurant.”

The majority of restaurants did not reopen but a few—including Waffle House’s 330  chain restaurants and more than twelve other restaurants in the Atlanta metro area—did, despite backlash from health officials and users online; “This is a really bad idea—I hope you are paying your workers extra and protect them,” said one user in response to a post on Instagram from Rocky Mountain Pizza announcing their reopening.

For those that did reopen, though, it wasn’t life as normal: Restaurants are required to adhere to a set of 39 guidelines laid out by the state government, including a mandate that all employees wear masks, owners screen employees for signs of illness, and restrictions on the amount of customers allowed inside at the same time.

Many owners that refused to allow dine-in service did so because they felt it was too early or unsafe, while others said they were waiting for more guidance from the state.

Source: Georgia Restaurants Opened Their Doors Today—Here’s How It Went