Safe Return order brings smiles to local business owners

Safe Return order brings smiles to local business owners

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Big changes are coming to Mississippi next week after the governor’s announcement that his previously-issued Safer at Home order will now pivot to a Safe Return order.

Some highlights in that order include the opening of bars and restaurants can host live music. Museums, libraries, movie theaters, and auditoriums can all open and operate with limitations.

Upon first look, those are the businesses and establishments you’d expect to be the happiest about the new order, but many businesses are excited that state and local leaders are continuing to relax restrictions.

“Entertainment brings normalcy," said Southern Elite Gym Owner Richard Hawthorne. “People are going stir crazy not having sports and stuff like that. Getting ready to go out to the bars and be around their friends a little bit more is making things a lot better.”

More people picking up paychecks will lead to more people being able to afford picking up weights. Quitman Reddock was eager to get back inside the gym and is ready to go out with friends again.

“Pretty excited man. I just came home from Texas, come home to nothing being open," said Reddock. “Been trying to go out to the bars. Actually the bowling alley last weekend wasn’t even open. So to hang out with friends and be able to do stuff, that would be pretty sweet.”

Kwitzky’s Dugout in Ocean Springs is one establishment that is eager to invite people back inside. Kris Kwitzky has been preparing for weeks.

“We are all happy. We want to get to work, we want to be safe, but getting back to work is everything for all of us. It’s what drives the machine,* said Kwitzky.

Government Street Grocery has kept their doors open serving food but the establishment is know for its live music, and this order means it can return.

“I mean it’s been a couple months since we have had live music up in here. Usually that is our big money maker on the weekends. So it’s been different trying to get used to everything this is going on at the moment. So yeah, it’s a big deal down here in Ocean Springs,” said bartender Bobby Rhodes.

As long as restaurants keep 12 feet of distance between performers and guests, live music will once again be serenading South Mississippi.

The new Safe Return order goes into effect June 1 at 8 a.m. Reeves also issued another executive order to begin safely reopening ballparks, movie theaters, libraries, and museums to provide additional outlets for Mississippians to take care of their mental health, as well as restart our economy. That order also goes into effect Monday, June 1 at 8 a.m.

You can view the text versions of the executive orders here: Executive Order No. 1491, Executive Order No. 1492 (Safe Return).

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