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Town of Irmo allows outdoor dining, before Governor McMaster’s; all of South Carolina next

Irmo, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Lexington County town of Irmo moved slightly faster than SC Governor Henry McMaster in easing restrictions on restaurants this week. Their restaurants were allowed to reopen for sit-down outdoor dining. Their directive took effect Friday.

The governor agreed to rescind some parts of his emergency order regarding restaurants and where people could travel also. His easing of restrictions will take effect Monday, May 4, 2020. Beginning then, sit-down dining at restaurants will be allowed if it is at outdoor tables. He also rescinded his Home or Work order that restricted travel as a part of his latest action.

Irmo’s town council made their decision Thursday night based on what was happening in their town and with their businesses. Irmo Mayor Walker has been quoted as saying, "Why wait until Monday and waste a beautiful weekend." The mayor has years of experience as a small businessman. He was in the restaurant business and owned Mac’s on Main, a restaurant well known for its fabulous peach cobbler and other foods. He certainly knows the effect and financial hardships the restrictions had on eateries that were forced to close their dining rooms. All had to serve either drive-thru, curbside pickup, or by delivery.

The demand that restrictions on public activities are also being questioned as citizens become tired of being cooped up at home or their places of work. As the weather gets nicer, the voices of the public demanding the reduction of restrictions on outdoor and public parks grows louder.

Irmo’s Mayor Walker, who has his own health problems, was continuing his responsibilities as mayor but was wearing a mask to protect himself from contracting the COVID-19. He was photographed in the mask as he presented a town proclamation recently.

Even though South Carolina’s coronavirus restrictions are slowly being eased, this does not mean that every citizens’ responsibility to observe social distancing has been eased. That order is still in effect everywhere. Other practices like frequently washing of hands are all still recommended so the cases of COVID-19 will not begin climbing again. The public should remember that even if they are young, strong, and healthy, they can contract the virus. Also, the person they crowd while being out may not be as healthy. Although the elderly, people with chronic medical conditions, the very young, and anyone who is afraid they may contract the virus should follow Mayor Walker’s example and take steps to protect themselves, others should be respectful of these people rights and give them their space.

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