Indiana and Florida lift coronavirus restrictions for restaurants

Elsewhere, some states are only just beginning to allow indoor dining, while others are gradually loosening limits on operations, citing declining infection rates

The governors of Indiana and Florida have given the green light for restaurants to operate at full capacity.

Scheduled to begin Sept. 26, restaurants and bars in Indiana will be allowed to be fully functional with no capacity restrictions, though the infection rate in the state was 3.9% on Friday, based on positive test results. Indiana had 115,407 cases of coronavirus, as of Sept. 23, and 3,340 deaths.

Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Friday that the state would be completely reopened. The state’s infection rate has been wavering above 5% for the past two weeks, but on Friday state officials reportedly said the rate had dipped to 4.45% for people testing positive for new infections, which officials said was an indication of the virus under control.

Looking state by state, restaurants are open for indoor dining across most of the country with regulations set to allow for reduced capacity in a few states in the coming weeks ahead.  And though restaurants will be able to allow more diners through their doors, of course there are still protocols in place to prevent spread of the virus.

New York City, for example, became an epicenter early on for the virus prompting local officials to be exceedingly cautious. But the city has sustained infection rates below 1% for several weeks and is scheduled to reopen indoor dining to 25% capacity on Sept. 30.

Several states are at their final stages of reopening while others are as far as they will reopen before a vaccine is available, leaving restaurants at 75% capacity until further notice. Some, like California, are opening up county by county, based on reaching and maintaining various COVID metrics

Most states have kept bars closed, with health officials contending that bars are "nationally recognized as COVID-spreading locations,” as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said when he loosened Texas restrictions. Many states also have a curfew for on-premise alcohol sales, even at restaurants.

See the latest on states regulations and what’s expected next.

Contact Holly at holly.petre@informa.com

Find her on Twitter: @hollypetre

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