ALLEGHENY COUNTY (KDKA) — Restaurants and other person-to-person businesses like hair salons and health clubs remain off-limits under the “yellow” phase of coronavirus reopening.
But Allegheny County Rich Fitzgerlad says it is time to lift the restrictions.
“These businesses have been out now for two months now. The pressure has to be tremendous on these folks,” Fitzgerald said.
“They’ve been without income for a couple of months. We’ve got to figure out a way to get them back safely but get them back into business,” Fitzgerald said.
WATCH: KDKA’s Lisa Washington reports more on businesses pushing to reopen
Joey and Melissa Tambellini have put everything into their Italian restaurant in Highland Park. They cannot invite the public in right now and are powerless to save it.
“It’s like watching it burn down and not being able to put water on the fire,” said Joey.
After discussion with Gov. Tom Wolf, Fitzgerald believes these businesses will get the go-ahead to reopen in the near future.
“Hopefully, within the next couple of weeks, they’ll either be given an exemption with yellow or maybe we move into that green, whatever-that-means phase,” he said
Emilio Cornacchione, the owner of Izzazu Salon, Spa & Blowout Bar, says all of these businesses have sanitary and social distancing protocols in place, allowing them to operate safely in a region where news cases have remained consistently low over the last couple of weeks.
“It’s time,” Cornaccione said. “It’s been 10 weeks. The number keeps going down, down, down. It’s time to change the playbook. I think Governor Wolf definitely has to relook the playbook.”
“We have families, we have lives, we have kids … I got my life in there,” he added.
Some small business owners told KDKA they will soon reopen with or without the approval of Gov. Wolf.
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