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Prince George's County lifts some COVID restrictions, businesses 'very happy'

On Monday, the county lifted all indoor and outdoor capacity and distance restrictions. Face masks are still required inside all indoor venues.

RIVERDALE PARK, Md. — Prince George’s County businesses are adjusting to a major change in their operations.

On Monday, the county lifted all indoor and outdoor capacity and distance restrictions. Face masks are still required inside all indoor venues, onboard public transportation, and at crowded outdoor venues like concert venues.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced the rollout of the new changes last week citing the county’s decreasing COVID case rate and increasing vaccination rate.

Town Center Market in Riverdale Park welcomes the changes, according to co-owner Pete Spiropoulos.

“I’m very happy because you see the people,” he said. “People, they start coming out. They’re happy. It’s a different atmosphere.”

Spiropoulos’ son, Jim, co-owns Town Center market, too. He said having to adjust to phased reopening throughout the pandemic was often hard on customers.

“The biggest issue there is just the confusion with the different protocols set by the federal government, and then the state of Maryland, and then the county level,” he said.

Jim Spiropoulos said it was a big deal when his business learned of the county plans to lift the restrictions.

He said he expects a lot of business to walk into his Riverdale Park business in the next few days.

“I fully expect it to impact [business],” Jim Spiropoulos said.

However, he adds find enough staff to handle all the returning customers could be an issues. Businesses across the DMV have been reporting staffing shortages.

“It’s been tough to find new people, but I did find a great new employee two weeks ago,” Jim Spiropoulos said.

He added his business will now be able to welcome up to 100 customers at a time on its new patio. Spiropoulos said the business has decided not to reopen its indoor lounge area at this time.

Town Center Market’s customers are happy with the county’s changes too.

“The science is saying that we can open back up,” the customer said. “It’s safe to be out, it’s safe to not, be masked in certain situations and I’m all for it. I think if the numbers support it, that we should be doing it.”

Prince George’s County still requires people to wear masks inside indoor venues, public transportation, and crowded outdoor venues like concerts.

The county said it will reinstate its old restrictions if its COVID-19 data begins to trend in a negative direction in the future.

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