Beshear announces new restaurant, school mandates

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Andy Beshear announced new measures on Wednesday to combat the third wave of the coronavirus in the commonwealth.

Notably, the Governor did not announce new mandates on retail businesses and hospitals. However, he did say the mask mandate would need to be strengthened in those places.

As Americans plan to join for Thanksgiving next week the Governor said the importance of reducing gatherings is paramount.

A mandate will go into effect from Friday at 5 p.m. to Dec. 13 that prohibits private gatherings of more than eight people. Furthermore, those gatherings should only include immediate family from two different households at most.

Restaurants and bars will be mandated to close to in-person dining on Friday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. Patio services and take-out will be available, Beshear said.

“It’s not us being unfair, it’s the virus being unfair,” Beshear said.

A $40 million fund will be used to give eligible restaurants and bars a $10,000 supplement to aid in their efforts to close under the mandate.

Event venues will also be limited in their capacities to serve communities.

Gymnasiums will be reduced to 33% capacity, and masks must be worn while inside them. Group classes at gyms are prohibited.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association announced on Wednesday that fall sports would be postponed through Dec. 13, and all indoor practices are prohibited.

Schools will close to in-person classes, beginning on Nov. 23, and that closure will last through Dec. 7 for elementary schools and Jan. 4, 2021 for high and middle schools. Elementary schools are only permitted to reopen if their counties are not in the “red.”

Additional information is expected on Thursday to be announced regarding religious services.