Gov: Restaurants can re-open “limited” dine-in eating in May

Patio seating and alcohol sales will be allowed during Phase 1 of restaurants opening. However, bars will not be open, even those in restaurants.

FULL BRIEFING 4/29: Gov. Hutchinson and ADH COVID-19 update for Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Dr. Nate Smith, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, announced Wednesday that over 3,000 people have tested positive and 59 deaths of COVID-19.

Gov. Hutchinson also announced that on May 11, restaurants can reopen “limited” dine-in eating as long as social distancing and health precautions are enforced. Hutchinson also said that restaurants can only have 33% of their maximum occupancy.

If Phase 1 is successful, Hutchinson said that restaurants might be able to expand to 66% of their maximum occupancy, and the Phase 3 would be 100%.

Hutchinson said they would announce when restaurants could move forward.

As of 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, officials said 3,207 people have tested positive for COVID-19, with 1,279 people who have recovered.

Hutchinson also announced a new initiative to instill consumer confidence when the state begins to reopen.

“Arkansas Ready for Business” is a grant program to offset expenses associated with ensuring the health & safety of employees and customers.

A total of $15 million is available in the program to assist companies in the re-start phase. The money will help with PPE, hand sanitizing stations, etc.

Companies are eligible for up to $100,000 in total.

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