(The Center Square) — Restaurants in Ohio can resume outside dining on May 15 and in-restaurant dining on May 21, Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Thursday as part of his Responsible RestartOhio plan.
“We will partner with health departments in Ohio to focus owners and operators on strict adherence to the Administration’s requirements and recommended guidelines,” the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) said in a statement.
“With safety certified staff always on site for every shift and an already high emphasis on proper sanitation and hygiene, the restaurant industry is well prepared to lead the way on safety – employee safety, food safety and guest safety.”
Meanwhile, barbershops, hair salons, day spas and nail salons may reopen starting May 15, DeWine said.
“We just have to be more vigilant about protecting each other – both personally vigilant and collectively vigilant – so that we don’t see an increase of the spread of the virus,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said in a tweet.
“The regulations that were developed were that collaboration, and businesses believe they can live with them, and the health departments & health officials that work with them believe that they provide the level of safety that we need,” Husted added. “They’re practical and safe.”
In Ohio, there are currently 22,131 cases of COVID-19, and the state has reported 1,271 deaths.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” DeWine said on Twitter. “We are in it for the long-haul. As Ohioans, we need to know that we’re not going to get through this quickly.
“If we relax and take things for granted, things will not go the way we want them to go,” DeWine added. “We don’t want to see a spike and be forced to decide if we pull back again on the economy. What we all do today will determine where this state goes. This is all in our hands.”
The announcement comes one day after the state House voted to give lawmakers oversight of pandemic orders the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issues. Under Amended Senate Bill 1, ODH orders issued under Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3701.13 would be in effect for up to 14 days, and the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) would review any renewals or extensions.
Todd DeFeo is a Center Square contributor