Coronavirus in Arkansas: Bars can reopen inside restaurants May 19, free-standing bars on May 26

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Bars in restaurants can reopen May 19

FORREST CITY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Bars inside restaurants in Arkansas can reopen with new restrictions on Tuesday, May 19, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced in Forrest City on Monday.

Free-standing bars will not be allowed to open until Tuesday, May 26, Hutchinson announced.

“That allows really every retail shop the ability to open even though we continue to be careful with our safety restrictions,” Hutchinson said.

There are restrictions though.

Safety measures like social distancing will have to be part of each re-opening.

The Arkansas Department of Health did not lay out specific restrictions, but said they are similar to what is in place for restaurants.

Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said as the state continues to re-open, his department will depend more and more on people taking individual action to protect their health rather than state mandates.

“As we move on, people are going to have to internalize those guidelines and directives and implement them themselves without specifically being told,” Smith said. “As we’re backing down on some of these things, we’re giving businesses and people more freedom to make choices.”

Stay with KNWA/FOX24 for updates on what guidelines and regulations the state will impose on bars in Arkansas.

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