Generally, the decision to close certain places has a lot to do with trying to prevent numbers of people from congregating together. Over time, the numbers themselves have changed drastically. One Philadelphia official announced last week to not attend events with more than 5000 people, as if 4965 people would have been okay. More recently, 50 or more people is the number to avoid.
If the goal is to prevent 50 or more people from gathering in a public place in close quarters, Chester bars and restaurants are not great targets. Sure, there are a few bars that get busy on weekends and during happy hours, but most of them have less than 50 people in them most of the time. Yet, no one will be drinking at a bar for the next two weeks. That’s going to put a big dent in the pockets of these bar owners and their employees.
Chester doesn’t have many sit-down restaurants. Chicago Uno’s is the largest and is a certain perfect fit to qualify for the governor’s order because of its size. But, the little mom & pop diners around Chester can hardly fit 30 people. Fortunately for most of them, they do a lot of take-out orders anyway, so folks in Chester won’t be missing too many meals with the restaurant shut down.
We’ve got a couple food courts in Chester. How do they fit in? Of course, the food that’s purchased would be considered take-out, but you can eat it in the common seating area that isn’t considered a restaurant. Someone will probably figure out they should remove the tables and chairs – but maybe not.
Food trucks should be unaffected.
The eateries I find unaffected yet very troubling when it comes to people in close contact with each other is the take-out Chinese food store, the steak and hoagie shop, and the pizza joint.
Although the nature of their business is take-out only, the waiting area can be packed with people placing their order and waiting for their food. These folks are in far closer contact with each other than 5 guys sitting at a bar or 4 couples having dinner at separate tables in a restaurant. It’s almost like these places have built in social distance where a take-out restaurant could have you crowded in a small lobby with a bunch of people placing and waiting for orders.
Maybe folks will use common sense and place their order and go outside and wait now that the weather is getting nice. On a rainy day, good luck with that.