Gov. McMaster Lifts Boating Restrictions, Reopens Restaurants At 50% Capacity

COLUMBIA, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) — South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster held a briefing this Friday to update the public on the state’s response to COVID-19.

Governor McMaster lifted all additional boating restrictions defined by Executive Order 2020-25. This will be effective immediately. He says the lifting of restrictions will not prevent law enforcement officers from continuing to enforce social distancing orders and breaking up groups of more than 3 people.

Governor McMaster also announcing South Carolina is moving on to Phase 2 of  AccelerateSC — opening restaurant dining rooms as long as the buildings occupancy is at 50% or less. Recommendations for South Carolina restaurants are as follows:

  • “Only allow 50% of posted occupancy inside, as determined by fire marshals”
  • “Tables should be spaced 6-8 feet apart”
  • “Additional cleaning and sanitizing guidelines for equipment, tables, chairs, etc.”
  • “Additional guidance for health checks for all employees”
  • “Social distancing guidance for employees and customers, including recommended”

These changes for restaurants will go into effect Monday, May 12 at 12:01 AM. McMaster says restaurants are not required to open, but may do so at their own discretion.

Governor McMaster says, “As we gradually and methodically lift restrictions aimed at combating the Coronavirus, it is incumbent upon South Carolinians to follow to the guidance and recommendations provided by our public health experts to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”

On Monday, McMaster could hold another briefing to update on salons, gyms and other close contact businesses.

South Carolina’s State Epidemiologist, Linda Bell, says the state needs to increase its testing of COVID-19. In the briefing she’s saying the state’s goal inn May is to test 2% of South Carolinians — which will allow the state to better understand and combat the disease.

Dr. Bell says testing will begin Monday, May 11th and the state’s testing plan will focus on:

  • Nursing home residents and staff
  • Minority Communities
  • Urban Communities
  • New Testing Sites

For more information on testing sites in your area, you can visit 


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