Some establishments moving to 50% capacity, others staying put despite easing of restrictions

By: Elizabeth Millner | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 18, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Restaurants and retailers are now seeing less restrictions as they are able to operate at 50% capacity, which is up from 25% since they were able to reopen two weeks ago.

The establishments must still follow social distancing guidelines and continue to disinfect seating areas and tables once the customers are finished.

At Cancun’s Sports Bar and Grill, customers are reacting to being able to dine-in once again.

“This is the first time I’ve literally gone out and ate lunch anywhere so I feel very excited and I feel very comfortable,” said Gabriel Schlaf, who was enjoying lunch at Cancun’s.

“I was very happy to know that other restaurants opened but it is still kind of scary knowing that the virus is still out there and things are still opening up,” said Colleen Ofarrell, who was also grabbing lunch to eat.

“Our patio has been getting a lot of use,” said owner, Victor Carranza.

Carranza says he’s been seating people outside since the rule was announced two weeks ago.

Now he’s happy his restaurant can receive more foot traffic indoors.

His restaurant had to make ends meet with curbside and to go orders.

“You know to-go orders is not enough we were doing pretty good with the deliveries but also we partnered out with Bite Squad and Doordash to do deliveries and they also get a percentage of that,” said Carranza.

But he said he’s still waiting on the news he can open his establishment at 100%.

“I know we all gotta stay safe and we gotta make sure that everybody else stays safe so we are happy that our governor is finally opening things up,” he said.

It’s a journey loyal customers say they are willing to take.

“It feels like you know the new normal that we are supposed to be getting to it’s kind of showing through maybe a little more responsibly than it has been in the past,” said customer Zachary Isriel.

Restaurants still have the option to continue being open at 25%.

And while customers are still able to order alcoholic drinks, bars must remain closed for the time being.