LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Governor Beshear’s new COVID-19 mandates go into effect Friday.
Kentucky has seen more COVID-19 in November than any other month and there are still ten days to go.
The governor says he knows these new mandates won’t be popular, but he says they’re necessary to save lives.
Starting at 5 p.m., restaurants and bars must stop indoor dining. There are also mandates for gyms, event spaces and schools.
Graham Waller, the owner of Winchell’s Restaurant in Lexington, told us, overall, they’ve supported the governor’s moves during the pandemic, but they do not agree with his latest decision. He said he feels like they’re a scapegoat for the rising numbers when their industry has done everything they can to be safe.
Winchell’s is one of the thousands of restaurants across Kentucky that will have to close their dining rooms at 5 p.m. As part of governor Andy Beshears’s new mandate, they can only offer outside dining, and food to go.
In Hamburg, we saw a lot of activity outside of Malones as they were essentially building an outside dining room under a tent. One of their owners told me today was pretty hectic as they prepared to lose their indoor dining for the next three weeks.
One thing these restaurants won’t have to fall back on like they did earlier this year is that federal money. Waller told us they were able to use that money to pay their employees while they shut down for six weeks. That won’t be an option this time.
“You’re gonna sit there and just target one group. Why, because they take their mask down when they can eat? Even though they’re six feet away from other tables,” Waller said. “It’s only families, four tops maximum. The numbers aren’t there and the rationale this is not fair in our opinion. It’s still shocking to be honest with you. To target one industry, unacceptable.”
Waller said, unlike last time, they aren’t shutting down completely. They’ll still be doing carry out and selling gift cards here at Winchell’s.
He says they’ll try to get their employees as many hours as they can, but there will have to be some cuts made during those three weeks.
The state is offering $10,000 to restaurants to help out, but Waller said that wouldn’t even cover the utilities for a month.
Most of the governor’s mandates, including the ban on indoor dining, run through December 13.