DENVER (CBS4) — Restaurants can begin reopening in Colorado on Wednesday at 50% capacity inside, with tables spaced six feet apart. Gov. Jared Polis has encouraged local governments to let restaurants to use outdoor spaces like sidewalks and parking lots to set up additional tables. Now, he’s urging other property owners to let eateries use their outdoor space.

(credit: CBS)

“I’m even calling on our private sector landowners. If you own an empty plot near a restaurant, be generous and be creative, you’re not doing anything with it. I mean, you know, charge them $100 a month to be able to set up tables there,” Polis suggested Tuesday. “Make sure that they have liability, not you, but please, let’s be team players here. Let’s get folks through this.”

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Polis stated the property doesn’t have to be directly adjacent to the restaurant, just close enough for the waitstaff to go back and forth.

Polis reminded the public that restaurants employ about 300,000 Coloradans — about 10% of the entire state workforce — and said adding seating outside may be the only way for some restaurants to stay open.

“It allows for more spacing and allows for the restaurants to be able to survive, because at 50% [capacity] many of them can’t get by,” Polis said. “This is a way where they can be at 100% of the normal capacity or even more, whatever their kitchen can handle if the customers are there because people are spread apart outdoors.”

Polis said the state government is suspending many different rules, including the ban on serving beer and wine outside, to maximize outdoor dining services.

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