Businesses across R.I. relieved as Governor announces path to near full re-opening

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – After more than a year of restrictions, Governor Dan McKee announced changes that put Rhode Island on the path to a near full re-opening.

Those changes allow all industries to increase capacity to 80% with three feet of social distancing starting May 7th. Beginning May 28, all capacity limits on businesses across all industries will be lifted.

“It feels really good to be with friends and socialize and get back to normacly,” Rebecca Ruzzano of Cranston said.

“As teachers we’ve have enough of Zoom! We’re happy to be out in public and seeing people face to face,” Kelly Flynn of Cranston said.

The announcement was also a sigh of relief for many businesses across Rhode Island who have suffered financially due to the pandemic.

“It was a breath of fresh air honestly,” Michael Ciresi, General Manager of Basta said. “We have been waiting or this news for just about over a year now.”

Dale Venturini, President and CEO of the RI Hospitality Association, said the changes are huge for thousands of businesses and employees across the Ocean State.

“The weight has been lifted off people’s shoulders,” Venturini said. “They now have something to plan for, something to look forward to, and something to say welcome back.”

The announcement also comes a day after the Governor toured with restaurants and shops on Federal Hill. Rick Simone of the Federal Hill Commerce Association said he and the Governor spoke with small business owners about their needs for recovery.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Rhode Island