SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. — Sevier County and Sevierville officials said that businesses should follow health guidelines as they reopen their doors, so people stay safe while travelling outside their homes.
Officials said that since the area's major industry is tourism, it's important that residents and visitors follow health guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus and stay healthy.
Governor Bill Lee announced a plan to reopen businesses in Tennessee starting Monday, called the "Tennessee Pledge." In it, he asks businesses, employees and customers to follow social distancing and health department guidelines.
Most restaurants will be allowed to reopen starting Monday, but Lee said they should limit customers to half of the business' capacity. Sevier County officials also said that local restaurants should not sit more than 6 guests per table and that bars will stay closed.
Sevier County also encouraged restaurants to adopt contactless payment methods and to follow CDC guidelines by frequently cleaning and sanitizing restrooms.
Governor Bill Lee also said retailers would be allowed to reopen on Wednesday — except for those in major metro areas. Sevier County officials said that retailers should routinely disinfect credit card machines between each use.
They also said retailers should frequently clean restrooms within the business, and to follow health department guidelines.
Visitors and residents in Sevierville should also continue wearing cloth masks when appropriate, Mayor Robbie Fox said in a press release.
The Tennessee Pledge was developed by Governor Lee, the Unified Command Group and the Economic Recovery Group. Information about the plan is available online, and Lee said officials will make decisions on the phased reopening of Tennessee's economy as needed.
Tennessee's largest cities — Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, and Chattanooga — created a separate task force to guide their own openings. This task force may push back reopening dates in their areas if needed.