Milwaukee allows restaurants to open under COVID-19 plan

Milwaukee allows restaurants to open under COVID-19 plan

The city of Milwaukee is taking another step to loosen COVID-19 restrictions, allowing for restaurants and bars to reopen for indoor service at a quarter of their capacity on Friday afternoon. Outside dining will also open.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said they’ll also allow for businesses to reopen at 50 percent of occupancy. Public and private gatherings will be allowed at 25 percent of capacity, with a maximum of 250 people.

“The bad news is, of course, the disease is still out there,” Barrett told reporters. “Unfortunately, it remains very strong. Cases are still appearing, hospitals still have not seen a major drop in COVID cases. We are counting on business owners to make smart decisions.”

Medical College of Wisconsin Dr. John Raymond said at a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and MCW webinar that he expects restaurants will be following guidelines to keep employees and customers safer.

“People are going to have to make a personal choice about what could be viewed as something risky right now because we don’t have a good history to know how safely we can open up those venues,” he said.

Tim Sheehy, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce president, said restaurants would struggle to open under the conditions due to their low margins.

“If they treat their employees safely and their customers appropriately, it may be a risky venture, but I think people would partake,” he said. “I just think it’s a challenge.”

Wisconsin Health News is removing the password on all stories related to the coronavirus. For the latest developments follow us on Twitter at @wihealthnews or check out our website. For complete healthcare coverage, sign up for a free trial to our daily email newsletter. 


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