With capacity restrictions lifted, Kansas City restaurants finally feeling optimistic

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time in more than a year, Kansas City restaurants and bars can operate at full capacity. 

The latest COVID-related health order in Kansas City lifts all capacity limits, effective Friday. Masks are still required indoors, but not outside.

At the KC Daiquiri Shop on Grand Boulevard, co-owner Calvin Vick said business has improved since last year’s challenges. 

“This time last year, it was scary,” Vick said. “We didn’t know if we would be able to keep our doors open.” 

Vick said releasing some of the previous restrictions will help them start to make up for some of the lost revenue from last year. 

“We’re starting to see more people want to come out,” Vick said. “We’re starting to see more people dining in versus carrying out. So we can see people want things back to normal.” 

As more people get vaccinated, the CDC says people who have their COVID-19 shot can start to do things they stopped because of the pandemic. 

“I feel like people are still kind of like on the cautious side of things, still being protected and aware for our peace of mind,” customer Neko Fields said. “But at the same time, we still want to have fun and live our days.” 

At the KC Daiquiri Shop, owners will keep hand sanitizer at the door and continue to rope off the bar to allow distance between customers and the bartenders. The owners said fewer restrictions means the light at the end of the tunnel, just in time for summer. 

“What that means now is that we will be able to do some of the activities that we did prior,” Vick said. 

It’s important to know health officials say that the pandemic isn’t quite over yet. To reach herd immunity, experts say at least 65% of the population must be vaccinated, but right now close to 30% of Americans have received their shot. 

The current KC health order requiring masks indoors will stay in place until at least May 28. 

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