Governor Henry McMaster announced Friday that beginning Monday, May 11 at 12:01 a.m., restaurants will be allowed to have indoor dining once again, with restrictions.
He said he hopes to make announcements regarding the restrictions on non-essential, close contact businesses such has hair and nail salons on Monday.
Restaurants will only be allowed to have customers at 50 percent of the Certificate of Occupancy issued by the Fire Marshal.
“Social distancing will be required,” McMaster said, noting that AccelerateSC’s policies and suggestions on indoor dining have been well-thought out and researched.
Dining tables and chairs must be sanitized between customers, doorknobs will be sanitized, and diners will use single use items when possible, as well as have tables spaced at least 6-8 feet apart, with no more than eight customers at a table at a time.
Of course, he said, restaurants don’t have to open to indoor dining yet if they don’t want to do so.
“Those that want to can open,” he said. “That restriction has been lifted, but every manager will have to make decisions based on their customers, staff, and the safety of their staff. Whether they feel comfortable opening up Monday will be up to them.”
The governor also lifted all remaining restrictions on boating in the state that were imposed for S.C. waterways, involving the beaching of boats on sandbars, riverbanks, and the like.
“Social distancing is still recommended and we urge the people of S.C. to use common sense,” McMaster said. “The virus is still here, people are still vulnerable, but we are lifting that restriction.”
McMaster said the state is doing the best they can to get the state back into “full operation mode.”
“We’re making progress, we are aware there are a lot of people out of work,” McMaster said. “The virus has been chasing us and now we’re turning the tables. There’s more testing going on, more sites.”
Dr. Linda Bell with SCDHEC said they have a goal of testing two percent of the state’s population each month, around 110,000 every month.
“Testing expansion will help us better understand the overall disease activity in the state,” Bell said. "Regardless of activities allowed – people must continue to practice good hygiene, wear masks, and practice social distancing."
For information on new testing sites, visit www.scdhec.gov/COVID19