Starting Monday, Nashville bars and restaurants can remain open until midnight

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Posted at 10:09 AM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 12:10:48-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Nashville Mayor John Cooper says Metro is adjusting its public health protocols amid the pandemic to allow restaurants and bars to stay open until midnight beginning Monday, Feb. 1.

Cooper announced the update during Metro’s weekly COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, citing the city's improving COVID-19 metrics. The mayor called it a "small step towards normalcy."

“These slight adjustments will help our hospitality businesses, while social distancing and capacity rules remain in place and will be enforced to keep everyone safe,” Cooper said.

In addition to the new closing time, patrons will now be able to enter bars and restaurants until 11 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. Restaurants that do not serve alcohol can also resume regular hours of operation, up to 24 hours a day, on Monday.

Cooper also said conditions have nearly improved enough to resume in-person learning at Metro Nashville Public Schools, adding that the "rate of disease in Nashville is improving." Although Cooper did not give an estimated date, he did say they are working with MNPS and Metro Public Health to determine a safe, timely return to an in-person learning option.

“Current case trends will allow MNPS to have an in-person option very soon,” he said. “But let’s keep the numbers moving in the right direction by masking up, even if you’ve received the vaccine, and continue washing your hands, social distancing and get tested if you symptomatic.”

As of today, Nashville has 4,774 active COVID cases -- a 44% improvement from the Jan. 11th peak when Metro reported more than 8,500 active cases. Additionally, hospitalizations have dropped 36% from the December peak, and Metro's case fatality rate is currently half the state and national average.