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Arkansas restaurants allowed to resume limited dine-in on May 11th

Gov. Hutchinson announced that restaurants will resume limited dine-in on May 11 as Arkansas begins scaling back restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday that restaurants in Arkansas will open limited dine-in services beginning on May 11.

Although Hutchinson announced that restaurants may resume dine-in, he announced several limitations as part of the phase one roll out.

Restaurants will only be allowed to use 33% of the occupancy rate of its location and there must be "physical distancing between patrons and tables."

Below you can find a list of requirements to re-open limited dine-in:

  • Physical distancing between patrons and tables
  • Reservations encouraged
  • Face coverings
  • Gloves for staff
  • Daily staff screenings
  • Frequent handwashing
  • Pre-order when possible
  • No groups over 10 people
  • Senior hour encouraged
  • No self-service
  • Clean, disinfect tables, menus after each meal
  • Bars and entertainment within restaurants prohibited

Hutchinson said that if the state is successful opening restaurants back up on May 11 in phase one, officials can move to the next steps.

"Success brings success," he said.

The governor said the timeline of each phase will be dependent on data and the state will only move to phase two when he feels confident we can do so.

Hutchinson also announced the Arkansas Ready for Business grant program which will provide $15 million to help businesses re-start during the first phase.

A company will be eligible for $100,000 in assistance through the grant program.

Eligible expenses includes: personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer stations, cleaning supplies and services, and other one-time expenses to enable a business to re-open or resume normal operations.

Application for the grants will be found at ArkansasEDC.com sometime Wednesday night.

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