NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — City leaders have eased COVID-19 restrictions in Nashville and Davidson County, allowing more people to gather in bars, restaurants and other venues, beginning Tuesday.
Bars can now operate at half-capacity and reopen seated-only service at bar counters. Weddings, funerals and other similar ceremonies at event venues may resume at 1/3 capacity or up to 125 people, assuming proper social distancing is followed and masks are worn.
Mayor John Cooper said during last week’s coronavirus press conference that ceremonies must be “carefully controlled and supervised.”
The mayor said transpotainment will also be able to resume at half capacity, with a maximum of ten people, who must all belong to the same party. There will be additional restrictions, including no alcohol consumption, and all passengers must be off the vehicles by 10:30 p.m. Masks must be worn while standing.
According to Mayor Cooper, limited service restaurants can continue to serve 25 people inside, but can add an additional 25 customers outside, for a total of 50 people. He added restaurants and bars may also resume seated-only service at bar counters with social distancing between parties.
Sporting events, parades, concerts, festivals and private gatherings can operate at 30% or less capacity, with a maximum of 125 people allowed.
One of the biggest changes is now event venues can reopen to host weddings at a third capacity or 125 people.
President of Infinity Hospitality Nathaniel Beaver, who owns the Bridge Building and the Bell Tower event space, told News 2 the weddings they host will look very different.
Events will now include temperature checks, masks, no presentation of cake and no buffet style eating.
Beaver said while they are grateful the mayor is allowing them to reopen, the restrictions won’t make a difference because they are a long-term, planned industry. Most of their business went outside of Davidson County and all corporate events were cancelled when the pandemic began.
Beaver told News 2 what will save venues is more funding from the federal government.
“If they don’t pass a PPP for the hospitality industry, the majority of restaurants and the majority of event spaces, they won’t be here after December. None of our revenue is getting better because of these restrictions being up. So, we’ve got to have some funding. I would say on average from everyone I’ve talked to, majority of either catering or event venue is down 80-90% revenue between now and next April,” said Beaver.
Infinity Hospitality did receive PPP money in the first round of applications, which covered eight weeks of assistance when the business closed in March.
Beaver estimates it will take until at least Spring 2021 for his business to fully recover.