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Branson passes law preventing eating or drinking inside a restaurant

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BRANSON, Mo. — The Branson’s Board of Aldermen passed a new law prohibiting non-essential businesses from operating in the city to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The bottom line is, what I felt I heard from our board tonight was, they would rather make the decision about closing business than have to make, for someone in a hospital have to make the decision about who was going to live or die,” said Stan Dobbins, Branson city administrator.

The new ordinance also prevents eating or drinking at any restaurant or business.

Restaurants will be allowed to stay open if they offer carry out, to-go or drive through pick up.

This is similar to the ordinance that has already been passed in Springfield.

Other parts of this new law state all essential businesses would not be allowed more than 25% of their total occupancy.

If someone violates the law, they could receive a fine up to $500 or 90 days in jail.

“At the end of the day, I think what our aldermen understand is that we can do the right thing by humanity, and do all we can to protect the lives of those who are dear to us, as well as our guests,” Dobbins said. “Or we can worry about money.  And while we are concerned, of course, how people are going to eat and pay their bills, we also want to be sure that they are present, and alive to be able to do that.”

The law will go into effect on March 24 at 8 a.m.

To read more about the new ordinance, click here.

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