VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The city of Virginia Beach is waiting to hear back from Governor Ralph Northam, after officials sent a letter requesting he lift some localized COVID-19 restrictions.
In Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer's letter, he requested to stretch the time permissible to buy alcohol to 11 p.m., and get rid of the 50% occupancy requirement for eating inside.
He says the decrease in COVID-19 cases in this area prompted his request.
“We wanted to wait to make sure the numbers were down and boy, once we hit 6% we were confident, and I understand it may be a little less now," said Dyer.
Restaurant owners want the restrictions lifted too.
Maricen Price owns three restaurants in Virginia Beach - two on Atlantic Avenue. The COVID-19 restrictions placed a month ago put a strain on her businesses.
“We don’t see a lot of our customers coming in after the o'clock curfew," Price said. "Not selling alcohol after ten o'clock - it’s been a challenge."
Zeros Subs restaurant owner Mark Stevens hasn’t seen the same affect on his business.
“A lot of people come and pick up the food here, so I’ve stayed steady during this time," he explained.
Stevens did say a little bit of normalcy in the restaurant industry is needed.
"We can’t keep businesses floundering out here. It hurts the employees, it hurts the businesses," said Stevens.
Dyer has posted COVID-19 numbers on social media daily. The numbers match the Virginia Department of Health data.
Restaurant owners Stevens and Price agree with the mayor and hopes Richmond hears their message, too.
"If they change the mandates, please make sure they don’t overcrowd your restaurants or and bars and keep people safe when they come in," Stevens pleaded.
Mayor Dyer explained his goal is to get the changes made by Labor Day, and hopes to hear back from the governor next week.