During Wednesday’s daily press briefing, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that restaurants will be able to start reopening on May 11 while maintaining 33% occupancy.


In the campaign “Arkansas: Ready for Business,” Hutchinson approved a $15 million grant for restaurants to purchase protective gear for the workers and cover operating costs.


Health Secretary Nate Smith stated that most restaurants will need to have a “deep clean” before reopening. Many have been closed to the public on some level for over a month.


As part of this step, restaurants will need to procure handheld thermometers to screen employees as well as masks and gloves for waitstaff to wear.


With the restriction to 33% occupancy, many restaurants may still struggle to cover operating costs.


The governor set the limit to groups of 10 sitting together with 6 feet between occupied tables.


Smith pointed out that gloves are only useful if washed between uses or disposed after a single use.


Both preordering and a separate time for senior citizens are strongly encouraged. Hutchinson also suggested that, when possible, restaurants use reservations to maintain a limit on their occupancy levels.


While alcohol will continue to be served, bars and entertainment areas are to remain closed.