LEBANON, TN (WSMV) – Restaurants and shops will be allowed to return to full capacity on May 22.

Governor Bill Lee’s office made the announcement to lift capacity restrictions on Friday. This applies to 89 of the state’s 95 counties.

The owner of Tom’s Blue Moon BBQ in Lebanon said he’s taking his time before returning to full capacity.

“I think we're still going to play it by ear. I think a lot of people are. I think we're going to keep it the way it is right now with the capacity we're running,” Tom Ferrell, Owner of Tom’s Blue Moon BBQ said.

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For Ferrell, 2020 has been nothing but challenging.

“It's been a constant learning curve to adjust how we're doing business, the way we're doing business, and try to be profitable,” Ferrell said.

Some immediate changes he put into place include a drive-through and more seating outside. He hopes this will help him get to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The drive-through has probably become the biggest portion of our business between carry out and eat in,” Ferrell said.

Governor Bill Lee said this next phase of reopening can happen for two reasons. They include the state seeing a downward trend when it comes to case growth and they’re meeting White House guidelines for a phased reopening.

Restaurants and shops will still need to follow social distancing guidelines once the restrictions are lifted.

One example includes keeping six feet between tables.

For the most part, Ferrell said people are following social distancing guidelines. That will ultimately determine his next steps.           

“As long as people are kind of keeping up with the distancing that they should on their own, then we'll add a few more as needed,” Ferrell said.

With these restrictions gone soon, the state will now focus on reopening large attractions including amusement parks and racetracks.

The plan is for them to reopen the same day or soon after the restrictions are lifted at restaurants and shops.

RELATED COVERAGE:

Tennessee to lift capacity restrictions on restaurants & retail, to allow large attractions to open

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