Business owners react to COVID restrictions being lifted

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– A fireworks display and a blue and gold glowing Expo Center commemorated the milestone day Tuesday after Governor Cuomo announced earlier in the day almost all COVID-19 restrictions were being lifted. 

This comes as New York State hit 70% of U.S. adults 18 years of age or older having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The celebration extended past the Expo Center into local businesses across Central New York where the energy was high as business owners said things were starting to feel back to normal.

“We’re pumped,” said Blink Fitness owner JJ Potrikus. “We’re going to open up all our cardio making sure everything is all opened in our locker rooms and bathrooms.”

You could feel that energy in restaurants too like Scenic Root in Manlius. 

“It’s a huge step back towards getting to normal and I think restaurants and bars are big gathering points and part of people’s social life so it’s really nice to get back to that,” owner Michael McDonough said.

For fully vaccinated employees they can now ditch their masks and with social distancing gone, Scenic Root is hoping to add back some tables to invite more customers in. 

But just because the restrictions are gone doesn’t mean the cleaning protocols went away, both businesses emphasizing they plan to stay vigilant in their sanitizing measures to keep their customers safe. 

“The gym etiquette is still at a really high level, everybody knows they are taking care of their equipment before and after they use it, wiping it down respecting each other’s distance while in here,” Potrikus said.

And the business owners said the thing that they are looking forward to the most is getting to see their customers smile when they walk through the door.

While most restrictions are lifted, CDC mask requirements are still in effect for individuals who are unvaccinated as well as inside schools, event venues, on public transit, and in jails and healthcare settings. 

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