RICHMOND, Va. -- Many restaurants are holding onto hope after a tough year as restrictions in Virginia are beginning to lift.
As of Friday, Virginia lifted restrictions on capacity and on social distancing just in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
These restrictions were originally slated to end on June 15, but Gov. Northam pushed up that date to Friday due to increasing vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 infections.
Earlier in May, Gov. Northam lifted the mask mandate, allowing those who have been fully vaccinated to ditch their masks while indoors.
Reggie Johnson with Carytown Burgers and Fries says that while he is excited to have more people dining in, he still wants to keep social distancing in place.
"That's the biggest issue we have is trying to make everyone happy," Johnson said.
Meanwhile, Monica Dunton, the bar manager at Mainline Brewing, says that they're looking forward to live music and full capacity this weekend.
"You want everyone to feel safe and that's why if you want to wear your mask, we encourage you to wear your mask, but if you're fully vaccinated you do not have to. And there's always that fear that it's going to get too big but I think with the staff that we have we're going to be able to manage it perfectly," Dunton said. "I think they're just getting ready to get back to normal times like we haven't had any hesitancy, we've had more people wanting shifts, you know, that summertime buzz, everyone is ready to get back to working, they're excited."
Health officials say that we have been able to get to this point because of vaccinations and they are urging anyone who has not gotten their shot yet to do so.