ARLINGTON, Va. — The new normal was tested out this weekend in most of Maryland and Northern Virginia, as both regions entered Phase 2 of COVID-19 coronavirus reopening.
For both areas, that means indoor dining could resume at 50% capacity.
While some areas saw a surge in business, not all restaurants had the first weekend back that they hoped for.
"I am kind of worried,” a la Lucia owner Michael Nayeri said about this weekend’s crowd. “I'm not sure if everybody feels safe to come out. We do more cleaning than serving people.”
Nayeri said business-wise they’re only seeing 25% to 30% of the business they had this time last year.
"I thought I was going to be busier,” Nayeri said. “I'm kind of happy we're not as busy so we can learn how to work with new rules and a new situation."
Less than a mile from Nayeri’s Italian restaurant, Old Town Alexandria restaurants were bustling, as they had been during Phase 1 of reopening.
Some restaurants in Maryland also had a big weekend.
The co-owner of Hooch and Banter in downtown Frederick, Maryland, said they had a full house all weekend.
Restaurants weren’t the only ones spending the weekend adjusting to a new world. In Northern Virginia, gyms were also able to reopen with 30% capacity and the DMV Iron Gym wasted no time getting things prepared for members to hop back on the machines.
“We're trying to place 10 feet between these people in this space fairly decent apart so it’s roughly 10 feet,” DMV Iron Gym manager Don Cederlund said.
“We've been doing great, we've had a bunch of new memberships come in and we're still dealing with that daily only been three days now. So it's been honestly a blessing,” Cederlund said.
While the Alexandria gym was able to reopen on Friday, other gyms in the area like Planet Fitness and Orangetheory haven’t reopened yet.
Cederlund said that may be why they’re seeing the surge in membership.
“I think because the corporate gyms aren’t able to fully open up just yet those people who have been looking to get back into working out, that lost the ability to do that over the previous months, are getting to a point where they're impatient,” the gym manager said.
Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties plan to move to Phase 2 this week.
Here's what's reopened in Virginia for Phase 2:
What opened in Maryland on Friday, June 12 at 5 p.m.:
- Indoor dining at 50% capacity, with distancing and following strict public health requirements
- Outdoor amusements and attractions, miniature golf and Go-Karts
- Outdoor pools capacity increasing to 50%
What can open Friday, June 19 at 5 p.m.:
- Gyms, indoor fitness centers, dance studios, martial arts at 50% capacity with distancing and following strict public health requirements