Restaurants, Bars To Fully Reopen On May 21

Associated Press
Staff Writer

Ohio bars and restaurants can fully reopen in two weeks, on May 21, with outside dining allowed a few days earlier, on May 15, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday.

Barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and day spas will also reopen May 15, the Republican governor said.

Barbers and stylists will wear masks, and customers will be asked to wear masks, said Debbie Penzone, president and CEO of Charles Penzone Salons and the chair of the salon and barbershop working group commissioned by the governor.

The reopening of eating establishments comes with limits, including parties of 10 or fewer and spacing between tables either by a barrier or 6 feet of distance. 

Gatherings such as dances won't be allowed in bars and restaurants' open areas, with that space to be used for now to put extra distance between tables and customers, said Treva Weaver, a restaurant owner who worked on the reopening plan.

Working groups studying the next stage of reopening that were announced Thursday looked both at what is known about preventing the spread of the coronavirus and the needs of business owners, DeWine said.

"What we're trying to marry is the science and the practicality of that profession and business," DeWine said.

DeWine also warned that restarting Ohio's economy also means coronavirus cases will rise. The process ahead is a marathon, not a sprint, he said.

"The more contacts that we have, the more that we do, the more risk there is," the governor said.