TOLEDO, Ohio — Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said the city is working on a plan to allow sidewalk and street seating for Toledo restaurants as eateries get ready to reopen on Friday and Monday.
Ohio restaurants with outside seating are allowed to operate starting on Friday, with all restaurants being fully allowed to open next week.
The city of Toledo is formulating a plan that would allow for sidewalk and outside seating for restaurants in order to get them up and running as soon as possible with as many customers as safely possible.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz said in a Thursday press conference that as of now it's unclear what the plan will entail, but a plan will be in place for restaurants by May 29.
The mayor says it will be rare to see a whole street blocked off and the city will work logistically with police and fire departments to make sure emergency routes won't be impeded.
"If it works, we'll try it. If it doesn't, we'll stop it," Mayor Kapszukiewicz said.
The mayor says this does not give anyone permission to have a block party.
Restaurants will still have to adhere to social distancing rules no matter what plan is put in place by the city.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz also believes city will receive lots of complaints of customers who believe a restaurant is not following social distancing rules. Anyone with concerns can call 419-213-4161 and the city will investigate.
If a restaurant is found not abiding by rules, the health department has the authority to shut down the establishment.
The city released a new city of Toledo logo wearing a mask to encourage everyone to wear a mask as Ohio continues to reopen.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz also says he was tested for COVID-19 to be a model of "good behavior" for other citizens of Toledo.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz said he doesn't have any symptoms and his test came back negative, but encourages everyone in the community to get tested as not as many people are getting tested as was hoped by officials.
The mayor also touched on some changes to be made to downtown parking:
- Non-moving parking violations will resume today
- The city will enforce all old parking rules by May 18
- The city has suspended the implementation of new downtown parking rules, such as the elimination of free lunchtime parking, until further notice.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz says there is still room for curbside pickup without parking where people aren't supposed to park.
The mayor also said in the press conference that he received a call from Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who said Toledo is behind most other cities in filling out the census.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz says he realizes the census is probably the last thing on people's minds during the coronavirus pandemic, but says the census is important to fill out so Toledo can continue to get enough resources for things like infrastructure, healthcare and education.