COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Restaurants in El Paso County will be able to serve more people now that a new public health variance was approved by the state of Colorado.
We reported last week when the El Paso County Board of Commissioners passed the newest variance amid the coronavirus pandemic. This new variance increases the capacity for indoor restaurants and private venues to 175 people or 50% occupancy, whichever is fewer.
Under the previous guidelines, restaurants could only have up to 50 customers or half of occupancy.
El Paso County Commissioner Chairman Mark Waller confirmed to KRDO on Monday that the new variance was approved. It will take effect immediately.
While some restaurants may not see any additional customers because of their capacities, others will be able to serve more customers at once. Ben Biggs with Phantom Canyon Brewery spoke to KRDO last week and said the restaurant would be able to more than double its current capacity.
The variance also lets shuttle bus service in El Paso County resume as long as passenger capacity is limited to 50%.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Governor's Office make the final approval for any variance requests submitted. The state moved past its stay-at-home phase weeks ago, and more businesses have returned to partial service.