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New guidelines for restaurants, restaurants as stores reopen

Restaurants and retail stores are open again, but with some big restrictions. Here's a look at the rules.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Many restaurants and retail stores have reopened in South Carolina after Governor Henry McMaster eased restrictions due he put in place to keep people safe from the coronavirus.

In a press conference on Thursday, McMaster said, “We’re not requiring anyone to open but we would certainly like people to open and we need to get back to business.”

McMaster and the AccelerateSC task force have released guidelines for businesses to adjust their operations in order to maintain social distancing and a safe space for everyone.

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Restaurants are in phase two of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association’s recommendations. This means they are now allowed to offer dine-in service. The recommendations suggest maintaining 50% or less occupancy and keeping customers six to eight feet apart.

They also recommend frequent cleaning, offering hand sanitizer at all entry ways, removing table condiments, using paper menus, and not allowing more than eight customers at a table.

Retail stores reopened on April 20. Governor McMaster says stores should have social distancing protocols and limit the amount of people in the store. The specific guidelines are to have five customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space or 20% occupancy, whichever is less.

Customers can do their part too by keeping a safe distance from others, not congregating in large groups in stores or restaurants and staying home if they have a fever.