COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Gov. Henry McMaster announced Wednesday that all guidelines for restaurants and other establishments that were once recommended are now mandatory, effective Monday, Aug. 3.
“These limited restrictions are temporary, they are measured, and they are targeted towards what we know works,” McMaster said. “These measures give South Carolina the best chance to slow the spread of the virus without shutting down the state’s economy – which we cannot and will not do – as many continue to call for.”
McMaster also continued to call for all South Carolinians to wear face coverings when appropriate, but also encouraged local governments to adopt face covering ordinances.
“I am calling on counties and municipalities to enact ordinances requiring the wearing of face masks, face coverings, practicing social distancing, following proper hygiene,” McMaster said. “We’re hoping for the best but we need to prepare for the worst, and the way to prepare for the worst is to have local leadership involved in stopping the spread of this virus and keeping the people safe.”
He also ordered that face covering must be worn in all state government buildings according to the guidelines and procedures by the state Department of Administration. That order will go into effect on Aug. 5.
According to a news release, guidelines for restaurants, which were first established by AccelerateSC and have been strongly recommended, are now mandatory.
Those mandatory guidelines include:
- Operating dine-in services at no more than 50% of the certificate of occupancy issued by the fire marshal.
- Employees and patrons shall be required to wear masks or face coverings.
- Tables are to be spaced to keep diners at least six feet apart.
- No more than 8 customers per table unless from the same family.
- Standing or congregating in bar area of restaurant is prohibited.
- Establishments that possess a state permit to sell alcohol shall be subject to these restrictions.
McMaster also announced that theaters, stadiums, and other event venues will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity beginning on August 3.
The following are included in the reopening order:
- Concert halls,
- Dance halls,
- Performing arts centers,
- Or similarly operated entities.
According to the guidelines released by the governor, the attendance at the events will be limited to 50 percent of capacity or 250 people – whichever is less.
“You go see your favorite movie, you’ll have some distancing and you’ll have to wear a mask,” McMaster said. “High school football games will be able to be played if the High School League Plan is approved by the Department of Commerce.”
Customers at these events will be required to wear masks to enter.
“The penalty for the violation of the provision in these orders is a misdemeanor. That is a crime and, upon conviction, must be fined no more than $100 and imprisoned not more than 100 days,” McMaster said.
Events or businesses may be able to exceed the occupancy restrictions if they are able to demonstrate to the Department of Commerce that they can comply with federal and state COVID-19 procedures and protocols.
Guidelines for indoor, outdoor and other activities can be found here.