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Local restaurants concerned over bridge phase mitigations

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El Rancherito Mount Vernon

MOUNT VERNON, Ill (WSIL)---Illinois is almost another step closer to reopening.

The Bridge Phase starts May 14th.

That phase comes with new worries from restaurant owners.

When bridge phase happens, some dining regulations stay the same, except standing areas now expand to 30% capacity indoors and 50% outdoors.

But some restaurants are a little nervous about the reopening.

Since the pandemic began, many restaurants have had problems with keeping or bringing back staff.

The lower capacity for dining has helped some businesses get by with less staff.

However, as the idea of more patrons gets closer, restaurant owners worry about what an influx of customers could mean for their already limited workforce.

"Right now, we're good, but I don't know what to expect because if it gets super busy, then you're gonna need more people, and nobody wants to work, and that'll be the issue. And right now since we're trying to renovate a little, because we've been here for 26 years, so it was time to kind of update the place. So we're mid that. But once we open up, I don't know what to expect," said Rosa Romo, the manager of El Rancherito in Mount Vernon.

Romo also said that while she is nervous about staffing, she is excited for things to start to return to normal.

And while the bridge phase is a step towards normalcy, masks are still required while inside for everyone and outside for those who are not fully vaccinated.

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Madeline Parker

Madeline Parker is a Multimedia Journalist at News 3 WSIL. Madeline joined the team in 2020 and graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a Bachelor’s in Electronic Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies.

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