In an unprecedented move, Greenville Mayor Knox White issued a proclamation Tuesday afternoon limiting dining at restaurants, bars and breweries in an effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Doing so makes Greenville the first city in South Carolina to take such measures, according to White.
And it’s the first time White has had to use emergency powers in the 25 years he’s served as mayor, he said.
“The next few days and weeks will determine whether or not we can stem the tide of the virus in our community,” he said.
The proclamation bans all restaurants, bars and breweries from serving food and drinks for consumption on-site. Instead, businesses can offer delivery, drive-thru and to-go options. The restrictions go into effect at the close of business Tuesday and will last through March 31.
White declared a citywide state of emergency after hosting a teleconference with representatives of the local hospitality industry and medical professionals. Fifteen states, including North Carolina, have reported mandatory restaurant closures, according to the city.
The cities of Charleston and Columbia have already passed restrictions limiting the number of patrons inside bars and restaurants. Fifteen states, including North Carolina, have reported mandatory restaurant closures.
Greenville’s restrictions will likely last 60 days and could extend to other businesses, White said.
“Social distancing is the absolute right strategy,” he said. “Local leaders have the power to influence citizens, and we must limit person-to-person interaction. We must take action that’s proven to be effective in prevention.”
Limiting restaurants to drive-thru and carry-out service is the right approach at this point, according to Prisma Health physician Eric Ossmann.
“I’d encourage all businesses, including restaurants, to limit entry to the facility to mandatory employees,” Ossmann said.
View this post on Instagram
Greenville Mayor Takes Emergency Action to Halt Spread of COVID-19 Requires Restaurants, Bars to Close Dining Areas, Offer Curbside and Drive-Thru Only City of Greenville Mayor Knox White took emergency action to stop the spread of COVID-19 by requiring bars, restaurants and breweries to limit service to curbside pick-up and drive-thru, closing indoor eating and drinking areas effective close of business March 17. White declared a citywide state of emergency after hosting a teleconference with representatives of the local hospitality industry and medical professionals. Fifteen states have reported mandatory restaurant closures. The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has reported 33 active COVID-19 cases and one death in South Carolina. “It is not yet widespread in our community, but according to health professionals, it’s just a matter of time,” White said. “Social distancing is the absolute strategy according to physicians. Local leaders have the power to influence citizens and we must limit person-to-person interaction. We must take action that’s proven to be effective in prevention.” More information on City’s plans here:https://greenvillesc.gov/438/COVID-19-Emergency-Information?fbclid=IwAR1c1Oxcf8mBg8GX5aKuIjii5n9q7LjVlZCMIBok3WGEG1MR2-tgyQC-ywc