CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Restaurants in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville are under tighter restrictions that are aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Ordinances passed by both localities went into effect August 1.
“We are totally fine with whatever the government tells us to do so we can stay open and stay healthy,” General Manager of Citizen Burger Bar Ashley Nielson said.
The new rules are very similar to the phase two restrictions for businesses. Restaurants, breweries, wineries, must cap their indoor capacities at 50% with a maximum of 50 people.
“I feel like guests are taking this virus very freely and they’re taking it as seriously as it is,” Fuzzy’s Taco Shop owner Pranav Shah said.
Citizen Burger Bar believes that with all the unknown, listening to governing bodies is important.
“We just don’t know enough, so just letting them kind of tell us what we need to do right now is the safest way to handle it,” Nielson said.
Restaurant owners also see the double edged sword when it comes to sales and safety.
Shah says he sees higher sales from week to week but then also notices customers aren’t wearing masks around the restaurant or aren’t being socially distant.
Both restaurants are in agreement with the importance of masks and social distancing.
“I don’t think that people understand how effective masks are and how effective social distancing is,” Shah said.
“I mean, no matter how you feel about it if it’s just the one step that we can take to do our part, we definitely feel like that’s what we need to be doing,” Nielson said.
Throughout the pandemic, the restaurant community has struggled, but it’s evident it’s one big family.
“And the restaurant community in Charlottesville is very large and robust and we would like to keep it that way and we don’t want to see any of our, you know, friends and colleagues going out of business because this is extended any longer,” Nielson said.