S.C. restaurants can begin operating at full capacity after Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order lifting occupancy limitations.
Restaurants had been operating at 50% capacity since early August in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. McMaster’s order (.pdf) enabled dining establishments to operate at 100% capacity but kept in place requirements that patrons and staff wear face coverings.
Restaurants will also still not be able to sell alcohol after 11 p.m.
“South Carolina is open for business,” McMaster said in a statement. “Our state’s approach has been a measured, deliberate, and targeted one aimed at keeping our economy open and our people safe.”
McMaster issued the order Friday after saying during a military commanders briefing Thursday that the action would occur.
Restaurants are also no longer required to keep indoor and outdoor tables 6 feet apart or to limit seating at tables to eight customers, though they are encouraged to do so. Restaurants are also urged to require customers to maintain 6 feet of separation while waiting to be seated and to modify or discontinue services allowing customers to refill beverage containers.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 619 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Sunday and 12 additional confirmed deaths, bringing the state’s total to 146,576 confirmed cases and 3,255 confirmed deaths.o