MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Some businesses had their hopes set high on reopening once the governor’s “Stay at Home” order expired Thursday at 5 p.m. However, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday the state would phase into the “Safer at Home” order, which allowed some businesses to reopen.
“So, it’s disappointing that we weren’t included in the latest order," said Midtown Pizza Owner Will Meacham.
Under the new order, all retail stores are allowed to reopen if they follow certain guidelines. Health care professionals can provide elective medical procedures under certain conditions. Beaches can open as well.
For Meacham, he reopened his second restaurant in Prattville last week in anticipation that they could operate Friday.
“So, we wanted to get all the kinks worked out and get all of the food back in and get everything set up and ready to go," he said.
However, under the order, restaurants are still limited to takeout and close-contact services, and churches are closed.
This is not what the restaurant industry expected. Mindy Hanon is the president and CEO of the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association.
“In all fairness to the governor, they had not given us any indication that we’d be able to open, but they didn’t give us any indication we wouldn’t either," she said. "And so, you know, there was an expectation that we would.”
Hanon said the industry would like time to plan. For instance, Meacham said she would like seven days to prepare.
“The uneasy part of this has just been the unknown, because it’s not just going to flip on," she said. “It’s going to be a gradual process.”