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Businesses aren’t ready to re-open to 100% capacity despite Gov. Ducey’s new order

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 5:19 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 5, 2021 at 10:23 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Despite Gov. Doug Ducey announcing Friday, March 5 that there are no longer capacity restrictions for businesses, many aren’t ready to re-open fully.

Rob Curcio, Owner of ZPizza in Oro Valley said the new order doesn’t change much for them.

“From an operational standpoint, this doesn’t make any difference for us. It really doesnt,” said Curcio. “In reality what Doug Ducey just did is open the door a little bit. It will maybe give people some hope that, ‘Hey, maybe we are getting better and we can start inching our toes back into some restaurants.’ Hopefully maybe that will help.”

His restaurant does not allow him to move all his tables back in and still keep six feet apart.

The same goes for Reza Shapouri of Harvest Restaurant.

“I don’t know if we are ready to implement that right now,” said Shapouri. He removed half his tables at the beginning and said they wont be coming back in anytime soon.

“We are not going to take them back in until people are confident enough to sit closer than six feet apart,” said Shapouri.

On the other hand, business owners are worried about what their customers would think. Shapouri said he already received several inquiries from customers Friday saying, if he were to go back to full capacity they wouldn’t feel comfortable.

Harvest customers Hank Verdais and Stephen Greene feel the same way.

“Just because we’ve achieved some degree of success is not a time to say let’s go back to the way it was,” said Greene.

Verdais said he’s only been out five times since last March, and the idea of turning back restrictions has him uneasy.

“Even though I’ve had both of my COVID shots, I’m gonna wait and see what happens,” said Verdais.

Despite declining case numbers and more vaccine distribution, Shapouri worries about his staff if they were to re-open fully.

“Restaurant employees were considered essential employees all through this time but they’re not on the front line getting vaccinated. I would like to see that.”

So while it feels like a step in the right direction, it’s a small one that holds a lot of weight.

It leaves many business owners to wonder if opening further to increase cash flow would lose them customers in the process.

“We’ve been here for years, these are regular customers,” said Shapouri. “And we just need to see how they feel and how comfortable they are.”

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