RALEIGH – The first businesses to be closed in the midst of the Pandemic Panic back in March, indications are that restaurants and bars in North Carolina will be allowed to open their doors to the public starting May 22 if Governor Roy Cooper decides the state can progress into Phase 2 of the reopening plan.
The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association sent guidelines to members for reopening, dated May 22 from N.C. Department of Health & Human Services, in anticipation of moving to the next phase of reopening. While Cooper has not yet released all specifics about what will be allowed under the next phase, aside allowing for dine in services, the industry group has undoubtedly been plugged into to the administration’s plans as they’ve been lobbying the governor for weeks to ease business-killing restrictions.
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Restaurant owners are anxious to know for certain what the parameters for dine in operations will be, so they can hit the ground running and save their business. Some restaurant owners in rural North Carolina have aren’t waiting. They’re opening up without concern for the citations, because the alternative is even costlier.
While we all look to the rules to see how we’ll approach eating out, we might be relieved for the sense of normalcy. Restaurant owners, the ones that have survived the length of the lockdown, will certainly be relieved to get back to work and save their business. Yet, in that relief, we should not lose sight of the fact that a governor blatantly subverted the rights of select groups of people in the name of collective public policy (that is proving entirely misguided). It is the antithesis of an American understanding of each person’s unalienable individual liberties, for which our government was founded to guard and protect above all else.
Cooper will deserve no thanks for he benevolence, should he give the thumbs up for Phase 2 this week. He deserves to be held accountable for the unjustified and unconstitutional suppression of rights in the first place, leading to an economic calamity that saw a million North Carolinians lose jobs and ruined livelihoods.
You can read the full guidelines here.