City of Charleston considers enforcing governor’s restaurant recommendations

VIDEO: City could make suggested safety guidelines law

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As restaurants slowly start to re-open their outside dining, some safety guidelines could become law in the city of Charleston.

On Monday, Gov. Henry McMaster allowed restaurants to re-open their outside dining. He also gave safety recommendations to those restaurants, suggesting best sanitation practices.

Following that order, Charleston City Council met to consider an ordinance that would make the recommendations enforceable by law.

“You have to have teeth in that ordinance in order to enforce it,” Charleston Livability and Tourism Director Daniel Riccio said. “Without a mandate in the ordinance, it’s not enforceable. So that’s why we’re taking the extra steps."

With the city's ordinance, there could be a discussion that would require employees to wear masks. Outdoor seating could also be capped at 50 % based on the fire marshal's previous approvals.

City council met again on Wednesday to discuss the ordinance, but chose to wait until they hear plans from One Region. The group is working on collaborative strategy to provide guidelines to businesses on how and when to safely reopen.

In the meantime, some city council members don't feel like the recommendations need to be made into law.

"We have to hear from the hospitality and the restaurant industries. They are already heavily regulated," Charleston city councilman Mike Seekings said." They have long before we got into this situation, been very attuned to cleanliness and making sure things are sanitary and sanitized. We need to strike a balance."

City council will meet again on Tuesday, May 12 to discuss the ordinance.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.