PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – News of Oregon taking a break in five counties when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions that don’t suit some in the restaurant industry.
On Friday, Governor Kate Brown released new guidelines to slow states that are increasing COVI-19 contamination. In recent weeks, the state has seen record high daily cases and other indications that viral progression has worsened.
The restaurant industry restrictions will go into effect next Wednesday in five Oregon counties: Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Jackson, and Umatilla.
Some restrictions include reducing indoor eating capacity to 50 people at restaurants and limiting the number of people in groups from 10 to six.
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Ramzy Hattar owns River Pig Saloon in northwest Portland.
“Another speed bump on the road, Hattar said. “I mean, we’ll tackle it and move on.”
Hattar learned about the new regulations on Friday and said they would have an impact on his business. He said right now, they’re looking at them to see how they can rearrange the seats to meet the guidelines.
“I’m glad we’re still open,” Hattar said. “I’m glad she will allow us to open the door, it was really a challenge, we invested a lot just to be open.”
River Pig Saloon has a large shack with outdoor seating set up on Northwest Avenue 13th. This is one of the options the city is moving toward to help restaurants in Portland. Hattar says without it, he doesn’t know where they’ll be.
Under Brown’s latest order, groups of 10 will no longer be allowed – groups of 6 are the new rule. No more than 50 people are allowed to dine indoors. Hattar says that will be tough for their profits, since they already have 10 employees.
“People don’t quite realize how much extra work we have to do, how much extra work we have to do here just follow the rules and monitor our staff and make sure everyone is safe, ”said Hattar.
The Oregon Restaurants and Lodging Association is also not excited about the rule change either.
“There’s a lot of anxiety and stress out there,” said ORLA President & CEO Jason Brandt.
Oregon’s restaurants, he added, have done an excellent job of trying to meet the challenges they face. He said that the restaurant industry is not an outbreak of disease, but in private gatherings.
“People who don’t work responsibly and continue to make bad decisions are affecting the health and safety of others, making them ashamed. We see ourselves as part of the solution, ”says Brandt.
Brandt says others will make changes to control COVID-19 before it’s too late for some restaurants. Many restaurant owners say closing again will probably stop them from doing business.
Brandt says he feels the industry is being unfairly eliminated.
“We felt there was a goal,” Brandt said. “We feel that we are being asked to do more of what other industries are doing with the digital culprit of the unregulated private venues where the virus is spreading.”
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