Columbia businesses react to new health guidelines starting Monday
COLUMBIA - Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services issued new guidelines for the rest of the month that begin Monday.
Some of the new guidelines include masks required for people who are over the age of 10 when social distancing cannot be possible, within city limits of Columbia.
Restaurants and bars will still have to keep tables socially distanced and whenever a person is not seated they must wear a mask. Patrons must also be seated at all times unless entering or exiting the building, or going to the restroom.
Finally, large venues and businesses, or organizers of public gatherings must submit an operational plan to the health department 30 days in advance of that event.
Charlie Smith, General Manager at Harpo's Bar & Grill, said they have already been enforcing the new guidelines even before they were put out by the city.
“We have been enforcing that on our own accord the entire time because we felt that if people were congregating in between tables that kind of ruined the whole point of the social distancing, so we’ve been doing that the entire time,” said Smith.
Rusty Walls, manager at the Heidelberg restaurant, also said that these guidelines aren’t anything new for the restaurant.
“It's really not much different than what we have right now anyway, so as long as the whole community is trying to do it, it helps,” said Walls. “I’m trying to read up what's the best practices. It seems like the masks, trying to keep all the tables apart, and in smaller groups and people not mingling.”
Smith also said they haven't had many problems with people not wearing masks, but the safety of their staff and customers is very important.
“Our first and foremost priority is the health and safety of our guests and our employees obviously,” said Smith. “Some people disagree with it from their political views and what not, but obviously it's a city ordinance and so we have been enforcing that to the best of our ability.”
The new order will run from August 10-31.