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Ohio bars & restaurants hopeful for recovery with health orders lifting next month

According to John Barker with the Ohio Restaurant Association, restaurants and bars will finally be able to recover once the health orders are lifted on June 2.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — After more than a year since the pandemic began, a path toward normalcy is finally becoming clear. 

Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday that on June 2, all health orders will be lifted except for places like nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  

For one industry, the lifted health orders will finally allow recovery.  

“Our industry lost $280 billion in sales,” said John Barker with the Ohio Restaurant Association. “For example, the 6-foot distancing, that was one of the last things that was really pressuring the industry,” he said.  

Social distancing will be lifted with the health orders.  

That means bars and restaurants can get back to full capacity but the need to wear a mask might not go away.  

“I would not be surprised if a lot of restaurant servers continue to wear masks because we know those things are helpful. But the distancing, taking that away will mean you’ll be able to put those tables back in,” Barker said.  

The governor said it’s up to places like businesses and schools to determine what protocols they want to still have in place.  

He’s still encouraging everyone who isn’t vaccinated to get their shots.