BUTTE — Butte health officials are loosening COVID-19 restrictions that will allow restaurants, bars and casinos to increase their capacity from 50 percent to 75 percent.
“I think it’s great news. It’s been a long year for all the restaurants, bars and casinos in Butte,” said Metals Sports Bar and Grill General Manager Dave Andrews.
The health board made the decision after the county showed sustained decline in rates of new COVID-19 cases. The decision came almost a year after all nonessential businesses were closed down when the coronavirus started appearing in Butte.
“We were closed down initially right during the State B tournament leading into St. Patrick’s so there was a lot of product that we had on hand that we had to give away,” said Andrews.
Places that serve alcohol will still have to close by 12:30 a.m., but it will help some businesses to add capacity, though most are eager to get back to full capacity.
“Fifty percent, that’s not paying all the bills, so it’s about time that we’re able to move up and we appreciate that,” said Andrews.
And while COVID-19 made last summer a bust for many businesses, many business owners are feeling more optimistic about this summer.
“I lost everything last year and this summer is looking decent so far, so I have some high hope on that,” said Andrews.
Local mandates requiring face coverings or masks will continue.