Thursday, December 2, 2021

Restaurants Reminded to Comply with Mandates or Lose Outdoor Dining

The Oxford Board of Aldermen held a special meeting Monday to decide on guidelines on when to revoke the ability for restaurants to take part in outdoor dining if they’ve received citations for violating mandates in place for social distancing requirements.

Mayor Robyn Tannehill said a few restaurants have received at least two citations for violating the mandates put in place by Gov. Tate Reeves’ most recent Executive Order, which states restaurants can operate at 75% occupancy if they can maintain 6-feet between tables and limits 10 people to a table. People must sit while in the restaurant and can’t walk around.

The city has allowed restaurants to take up parking spaces to provide more tables for their customers via revocable licenses that the city can pull at any time.

“We were very clear when we started the outdoor dining that this is a privilege and not a right,” Tannehill said.

She also thanked the businesses that have been complying.

While the board stated last month that businesses could have their licenses revoked due to citations, there was no threshold placed on the number of citations or whether restaurants would be given a chance to come before the board to plea their case to not have their outdoor dining license revoked.

After some discussion, the board agreed to allow Oxford Police Chief Jeff McCutchen to present citations to the board which will be reviewed and handled on a case-by-case basis.