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Restaurants react to new safety mandates in South Carolina

Safety recommendations for restaurants will become law on Monday.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — On Wednesday, Governor McMaster announced new rules restaurants will be required to follow.

Many restaurants are already following safety guidelines that were recommended by the Accelerate SC task force. On Monday, those recommendations will become law. 

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Assistant Manager of Basil Thai Cuisine at Cross Hill Market, Aaron Poston, says they put safety precautions in place months ago.

“As soon as [the pandemic] happened, we required every employee front or back of house to wear masks. We also do temperature checks for every employee that comes in and also any dine-in guest. We’ve been at 50% so every table is 6 feet apart, and we don’t take any parties over 8.”

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McMaster’s new mandates are meant to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The restaurant rules include:

  • Restaurants being at 50% capacity
  • Spacing dining tables six feet apart
  • Customers and employees wearing masks
  • No parties larger than eight people
  • No congregating in bar areas

Hampton Street Vineyard in downtown Columbia tells News19 in a statement.

“We couldn’t agree more with Governor McMaster’s decision to keep our citizens safe, while keeping the economy running. At Hampton Street Vineyard, we are taking all precautions necessary to welcome our guests and protect our staff.”

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Even though Basil has already implemented safety precautions, Poston says he’s glad they're being mandated.

“Implementing it in law is important for people that aren’t following that and doing the right thing, at least there’s some form of consequence for that.”

According to McMaster, the consequence can be a fine of up to $100 or jail time of up to 30 days.