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Flaggs loosens restrictions on restaurants and bars

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. on Friday loosened the regulations on restaurants and bars, allowing them to remain open past 10 p.m.

“This is a change from June 1; you do not have to close at 10 o’clock in Vicksburg, Mississippi,” Flaggs said, adding the businesses would still have to restrict the number of people in the buildings to 50 percent of its capacity and follow other restrictions involving cleaning, employees wearing masks and no buffets.

He said the changes are effective Monday.

The mayor also eased restrictions on fitness centers and gyms, reception halls and conference centers, allowing them to increase building capacity to no greater than 50 percent.

Reception hall and conference center capacity for seated dinners is no greater than 50 percent capacity with tables 6 feet apart and no more than 6 diners per table. All other events are limited to 25 percent of the building’s capacity.

Gatherings at other locations where social distancing is not possible are limited to 20 inside and 50 outside. Where social distancing is possible, the limits are 50 inside and 100 outside.

Discussing other topics, Flaggs said he is still looking at numbers to determine whether city government may have to be reorganized.

In April, he indicated declining revenue may force the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to make cuts in the city workforce and reduce salaries by 20 percent. He set June 15 as the deadline for his decision.

“I plan to either say that we can govern ourselves according to the financial situation that I have prepared if the numbers stay where they are,” he said Friday. “We are still looking at the monthly retail sales in the city of Vicksburg.

“Shopping in Vicksburg has helped us a whole lot. If we continue to govern ourselves like that I think we won’t have to look at massive layoffs or anything like that for the city,” Flaggs said. “I’m confident we can do without massive layoffs.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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