Alabama is Open for Business This Summer
Alabama is known for its beach bars, fine dining in cities like Birmingham and Montgomery and residents who like to enjoy life in general. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the entire country hard and interrupted the South’s usually packed social calendar. However, things are beginning to return to normal, with some states lifting restrictions more speedily than others.
Over half a million Alabamans have contracted the coronavirus and more than 10,000 have sadly passed away, but we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. This is one of the reasons the state has reduced its level of restrictions as compared to other areas of the country, and this will have positive effects on many industries that have been negatively affected by the crisis.
Among those industries most crippled by the coronavirus outbreak is the hospitality sector and especially bars and restaurants across the state. A record number of them have been closed and many more face uncertain futures.
This leaves many of us wondering how nightlife function through the busy summer months.
It was recently announced that beach destinations Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are emerging from an extra-long hibernation period and prepared to welcome travelers as the weather warms up. The state of Alabama is currently in an “Extended Safer at Home” phase of its statewide COVID-19 order.
Alabama restaurants are open with restrictions in place that relate to capacity and hygiene. The general rule of thumb is that wearing a mask is still required, albeit clearly not when you are eating at a dine-in venue. Restaurants and bars are not legally required to enforce the wearing of masks, but some locations may elect to enforce them if they wish.
Perhaps in the coming weeks and months, it would be best to be thoughtful in terms of those who are more reticent than you about keeping a distance and wearing masks. You could wear your mask when coming to and from locations, like the bar or restroom, and then take it off when arriving back at your table.
It may be the case that bars and restaurants elect to rethink the way their establishments are laid out as they seek to do what they can to avoid any further lockdowns. In relevant bars and restaurants, especially those along the coast, you can expect outdoor areas to increase in size. Weather permitting, this may be a better option for you and your party.
Restaurant bar stools, those that sit directly by the bar, may be a thing of the past given the lack of distance between patrons and staff. Similarly, there may be moves to contain kiosks and booths so as to keep groups closely aligned, and therefore helping to make most of the capacity each location has to offer.
Table limits have been lifted in Alabama, but the space between them continues to be fixed at six feet, a sign that the state is taking a pragmatic approach to the current stage of the virus we are in.
So, when visiting in the coming months, remember to adhere to the guidelines of each establishment you’re visiting. You can also click here to find out more about state partners that are taking extra measures to protect your health while traveling in Alabama.