NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Nashville would move into Phase Three on the Roadmap for Reopening on Oct. 1, according to the mayor.
Phase Three means attendance is allowed at larger events, students can return to school in-person and restaurants can open at a larger capacity as well as stay open later.
Safety guidelines such as social distancing and wearing a mask will have to stay in place.
Mayor John Cooper made the announcement on Thursday at the city’s weekly coronavirus briefing.
“Davidson County is seeing improvements. It has gone from No. 1 worst in the state to 82nd in the daily case count,” Cooper said. “We must proceed with caution and must apply the lessons we’ve learned this year.”
The mayor also said beginning Friday all bars and limited service restaurants can operate at 50% capacity with social distancing with a maximum of 50 patrons per floor and 50 patrons in an outside dining areas. Restaurants can also remain open until 11 p.m.
“The Honky-Tonk heroes campaign an initiative of the Nashville and visitors Corp has been instrumental in spreading good public health practices across our hospitality and tourism industry,” Cooper said. “Especially among customers and businesses in our downtown corridor. I am grateful to all of the bars and restaurants who have stepped up their efforts to protect The health and safety of their patrons.”
Owners of many bars and limited restaurants welcomed the news.
“We definitely have the space to do that downtown and on our rooftops so bringing back more people is excellent for us because you know it helps us maintain profitability, open up Nashville in a safe way And get some revenue flow open again,”Assistant Director of Marketing TC Restaurant Group Adriana Orsini said.
Marketing TC Restaurant Group, which operates Jason Aldean’s, Luke’s 32 Bridge and FGL House, said they are excited about the new step in re-opening of the Music City safely and getting some of their staff back at work.
“It’s hard to watch. It’s just going to be great to get them back in and hopefully get their revenue stream growing,” Orsini said. “As they lessen the restrictions we can bring some people back and hopefully you know put food on the table for them.”
Metro Public Health announced on Thursday there were 130 new COVID-19 cases and one death in Davidson County in the past 24 hours. There are also 1,177 active cases.
Nashville’s new cases of daily cases per 100,000 residents is now 15.6, down from a level in the 60s in July.
“The hospitals are doing well. The local medical community largely agrees with the plans to move forward,” Dr. Alex Jahangir, who is chair of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said.