Local businesses react to lifting COVID-19 mitigation orders

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POCONO LAKE, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – A big announcement from Governor Wolf today about an end in sight as coronavirus restrictions are being lifted.

“We’re excited to see the smiling faces, the kids running around, and folks really getting back out and sitting in the grandstands. Sharing that bucket of fries really just, what we saw in 2019 and I think what we’ve all missed here, what we’ve certainly missed at the racetrack,” said Ben May, President of Pocono Raceway.

Gov. Wolf announcing the end of capacity restrictions on Memorial Day signifies a light at the end of the tunnel. It means Pocono Raceway will operate at 100% capacity for the 2021 NASCAR Doubleheader Weekend in June.

“It was not only a great announcement for ourselves and our partners that we’ll be able to host our fans at 100% in our suites our camping and our grandstands but also for this community, this community is built on tourism,” said May.

Having the doubleheader at full-capacity will be huge for Mike Murphy’s restaurant in Pocono Lake.

“We’d get the pit crews, the fans… it does great for business, it really does. Anything that can bring activity,” said Murphy, owner of Murph’s Hideaway.

Murphy purchased the restaurant around March of last year and had to adopt to curbside service to stay afloat.

“I closed on it two weeks before COVID, a little stressful at that point, you own a business you can’t do business in,” said Murphy.

All businesses and restaurants can also return to 100% capacity on Memorial Day. But Murphy says there’s a frustrating catch.

“There’s still, you got to be six feet apart, so are you really at 100%? I mean we took tables out of here so if I went back and put tables, I’m not six feet apart,” said Murphy.

All mitigation orders, except the mask wearing order, will be lifted on Memorial Day, May 31.

The order to wear masks will be lifted when 70% of Pennsylvanians 18 and up are fully vaccinated.

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