Bottoms Up! SCHD gives bars and restaurants the green light to stay open later

WATCH: Health Department allowing Shelby County restaurants to stay open later

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department announced changes to when bars are allowed to close Tuesday.

Bars and restaurants across Shelby County are allowed to remain open until midnight rather than 10 p.m.

It’s a major advantage for businesses working hard to stay afloat. One business owner shared how she is overjoyed.

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“12 o’clock is a perfect happy medium for everyone. It gives us an extra hour to get that extra hour or so of sales,” said Tami Montgomery, the owner if Dru’s Place.

This comes after Montgomery was forced to close her doors for months.

“I think everyone wants the same results, and that is for everyone to be safe,” said Montgomery.

These businesses may now seat groups of eight rather than six at a table as well.

“We have improved our data collections at a local level, so we can identify where there may be clustering at a specific site,” said Shelby County Health Director Alisa Haushalter.

Haushalter said as time goes on, loosening more restrictions may come. Also, they will be sending people out to check on businesses and make sure they are following the rules.

If they don’t, they could be shut down for up to two weeks.

Director Alisa Haushalter said the health department signed Directive 13.

Key changes in Health Directive 13 are:

  • Further expansion of time period for when limited and full-service restaurants (and other similar establishments) may operate (now 12 midnight instead of 10 p.m.)
  • Further expanding the number of people in a group that may attend events, dining, and other family group experiences (now 8 people instead of 6)
  • Providing an easier number to remember for reporting positive case contacts to the Department by calling 901-222-MASK (which is 901-222-6275)
  • Providing that businesses submit a safety plan if, after receiving education and technical assistance, they are closed due to their refusal to maintain a safe environment for the public

All other restrictions still apply.

Read the full Health Directive here.