Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday that bars must close and restaurants’ indoor capacity will be reduced to 25 percent statewide beginning Tuesday afternoon.
The measures will go into effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday and last for two weeks.
Outdoor dining can be unlimited as long as social distancing is in place.
“This is going to hurt a lot of restaurants, but the White House’s modeling shows that this is absolutely necessary to control the spread at this time where we either become the next Florida or we get it under control and save the lives of our people and we protect our economy,” Beshear said.
On Sunday, the Beshear administration met with Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Beshear said the White House recommended and the state government agreed that the virus is spreading so much across Kentucky, that additional statewide action is necessary to curb it.
“She actually looked at us and said ‘the conversation we’re having right now, we had with Florida and Texas weeks before the worst of the worst happened. Now is the time for us to act,’” Beshear said.
Beshear also recommended that public and private schools in Kentucky wait until at least the third week of August to start in-person instruction, although each local school district has already delayed their start date until at least Aug. 24.
Beshear said two other steps were also recommended by the White House, both of which have already been taken.
A 30-day statewide mask mandate went into effect July 10. Social, non-commercial gatherings were limited to 10 people or fewer on July 20.
Beshear also announced 522 new coronavirus cases for Kentucky on Monday, pushing the state total to 27,601 and bumping the seven-day positivity rate to 5.58%.