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DC's indoor dining ban begins Wednesday night

The new rule will be in place for at least three weeks as the city works to curb coronavirus cases.

WASHINGTON — Indoor dining in D.C. is temporarily banned starting Wednesday night.

A new rule will be in place for at least 3-weeks in the District as city leaders work to tame coronavirus numbers.

Starting at 10:00p.m. Wednesday, restaurants and bars in D.C. will not be allowed to seat customers inside to eat.

The mayor’s order is will be in place at least until January 15th.

According to D.C. Health, restaurants and bars accounted for about 14% of coronavirus outbreaks between August and November 2020.

“Every week we’re watching the news waiting to see what’s going to happen next,” Chef J.R. Robinson said.

Chef Robinson is the owner of Kitchen Cray, which is located in Northeast D.C.’s H Street Corridor.

“Opening a restaurant during a pandemic is crazy because you don’t know what to expect,” he said. “I was kind of prepared for it because our Maryland location shut down first. So, it’s shocking to the staff because they’re trying to figure out – if I get laid off and don’t have any aid, how am I going to survive?”

The concerns for workers who primarily depend on tips to survive were echoed at other restaurants across the city, and some people in the industry feared businesses may not survive the shut down

“If you’re going to shut down restaurants, you might as well shut everything down,” Chef Robinson said. “If I can go to a mall right now, stand in line, and do whatever I want to do in the mall, what’s the difference between going out to eat at a restaurant?”

Businesses will still be open for outdoors seating and to-go orders.

The District announced a $100 million grant program to help businesses and workers who have been impacted by the pandemic and the restrictions.

You can apply on the city’s coronavirus website.

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