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Mixed feelings from owners, customers about dining out still

Florida restaurants and other types of businesses were able to operate at 50% capacity Monday, which means more businesses have decided to open.

Workers are wearing masks, and customers are taking extra precautions when they go out to eat.

After two months at home, people are itching to get out and do something. But restaurant owners fear eating out is not at the top of their list.

Some say Phase 1 in Florida allowing restaurants to open at 25% capacity didn’t help much. They’ve got their fingers crossed things change now.

Hand sanitizing stations are the norm, with six feet between tables and wait staff wearing masks and gloves. But a business owner told us he fears business will not return to pre-coronavirus levels until there’s a vaccine or cure.

We asked our Facebook followers what it will take for people to return to restaurants. And some said time, others when hospitals open back up to visitors and others when there is an “effective treatment” for coronavirus or cure.

Many people agree with the restaurant owner we spoke to and the opinions of Facebook users, but not everyone.

The governor has not said when he will consider letting restaurants ramp up to 75% capacity.

Monday nights are not typically one of the busier nights for eating out, so this might be a tough night to gauge how business will go moving forward.

And severe thunderstorms in parts of Southwest Florida Monday probably didn’t help.

Restaurant owners and customers agree they’ll all feel better when there’s a vaccine or a cure for COVID-19.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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