Parks & dine-in facilities to reopen

Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday amended the “Safer-At-Home” order to allow for the reopening

of restaurants and parks. 

The “Safer-At-Home” order remains in effect until Monday, May 11 and the new guidelines go into effect on Thursday, May 7 at 8 a.m. 

“I don’t want to wait if there are steps that we believe we can safely take now to ease the burden on Mississippians fighting the virus,” Reeves said Monday during his daily press briefing via Facebook. “There are thousands around the state that are set to close their doors for good. They cannot hold on much longer. I hope that this will not only be some much-needed relief for those restaurant employees but also provide for some joy for the people of Mississippi.” 

Wiggins Mayor Joel Miles said Tuesday he sees the governor's latest announcement as good news for the city and Stone County as a whole.

"Hopefully, it's going to mean a start-up again and back to full swing," Miles said. "I would like to have seen more, of course, but at the same time I appreciate that the governor is being cautious.

"Hopefully, before the weekend, some of the restaurants will be open again for dine-in service. … I think people are ready to get back to some form of normalcy and I think people have been more than cautious in Wiggins and Stone County.

Our numbers show that people have used common sense and taken safety precautions and I think that's why our numbers are as low as they are."

In the latest executive order, Reeves outlined guidelines:

Restaurants: 

Before in-house dining can resume, the entire restaurant and bar must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized top to bottom. 

All restaurants and bars are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the MSDH and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and whether they had a fever in the last 48 hours. 

Cloth masks must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear masks throughout their shifts. 

All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

No more than 50 percent seating capacity in both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and floor plans must be updated to ensure at least six feet between each group. Party sizes will be limited to no more than six people per table. 

Bars and bar areas that do not offer food services are to remain closed. 

Minimizing person-to-person contact through technology, like mobile or online reservations and contact-less payment, is encouraged. 

Customers will be screened upon entry. Restaurants and bars must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in. 

Cafeteria-style buffets and food stations that are manned by restaurant staff are allowed with appropriate barriers to limit contact. Self-service buffets, food stations, and drink stations are prohibited. 

All restaurants and bars must place hand sanitizer at all entrances, hostess stations, in/near bathrooms, and at cashier stations. 

Outdoor Recreation: 

Gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people for indoor activities and a maximum of 20 people for outside activities. 

Parks can open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m for outdoor recreation under guidance from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and local authorities with people following social distancing guidelines such as six feet separation. Outdoor recreations activities, such as swimming, are also allowed within those same hours. 

View Executive Order No. 1478 at www.seacoastecho.com

“Safer-At-Home” FAQs can found on the governor’s website at https://governorreeves.ms.gov/covid-19/.