NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — New COVID-19 restrictions went into place at midnight in Metro Nashville.
Restaurant and bar capacity will now be restricted to 50% with social distancing, and 10 p.m. will be the last call for food and drinks. No patrons will be allowed inside after that time. Metro Public Health Department officials said this will help businesses close at 11 p.m. in a more orderly way.
"Hopefully everyone gets in by 10 and gets served, and it will be a more controlled closing than we had before," said Hugh Atkins, Director of the Bureau of Environmental Health Services with the Metro Public Health Department. "In general, we are trying to encourage people to be back home and out of circulation earlier."
Mayor John Cooper says these new restrictions are in response to the rise of COVID-19 cases and concerns about hospital capacity.
It's just the latest adjustment bars and restaurants have made as the city tries to get COVID-19 under control.
At Germantown Pub, employees said the safety of customers has always been a top priority. Masks are required inside the building, hand sanitizer is offered, tables are set 6 feet apart, and surfaces are cleaned regularly.
While bartenders have had to adjust to the newest regulations, one said it has helped streamline the closing process.
"Once we get to that last call, people rush to get their drinks and we get people out of here at 10:30 to 10:45 p.m.," said Perp Djona, bartender at Germantown Pub.
The Public Health Order will be in effect until Dec. 13. At that point, officials with the Metro Health Department will reassess and determine if a new order needs to be issued.
The Metro Health Department continues to work with Metro Police and the Metro Beer Board to enforce Public Health orders.
As of November 29, there were 2,900 active COVID-19 cases in Davidson County and just over 46,000 total cases.
Currently, all gatherings have been restricted to eight people at a restaurant or even in your own backyard.