'They can stay home if they feel unsafe:' Bars on their own to enforce safety guidelines in parts of Wisconsin

NOW: ’They can stay home if they feel unsafe:’ Bars on their own to enforce safety guidelines in parts of Wisconsin

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Many Wisconsin bar owners now have a choice on what safety measures they want to practice to combat COVID-19.

“These are recommendations," said Chris Potratz, owner of Neighbors Bar and Grille in Waukesha. "We’re going to try to follow them as much as we can, but again, people do have a choice now. They can stay home if they feel unsafe.”

Not all bars can operate like Potraz. The Wisconsin Supreme Court decision left the choice up to local governments whether to enact restrictions on businesses. In Milwaukee, all bars are still closed. Some counties are allowing businesses to open with restrictions, while others have no rules whatsoever.

Rox Bar and Grille in Pewaukee is getting their restaurant ready to open tomorrow.

They say the abrupt change in the law is confusing, and they are following mostly CDC guidelines moving forward.

“With this ruling coming down without any guidelines at all, it’s even more," owner Dennis Hronis said. "But we’ll do the best we can.”

State lawmakers suggest businesses reach out to their local authorities for rules from here on out.

“There might be something locally on the books in that town, or that county, but from the state, we do not have any more rules to make sure that people aren’t able to work,” State Rep Adam Neylon, R-Pewaukee, said.

Business owners still want to protect their employees and patrons. And many, like AJ O’Brady’s in Menomonee Falls, have committed to staff wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

“That’s the decision that we’re making," owner Bruce Russell said. "Everybody wears masks. Everybody wears gloves. You know, and as more rules and regulations come out, we’ll adjust.”

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