Gov. Henry McMaster (file photo)

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster is allowing the reopening of all businesses, including movie theaters, concert venues and spectator sports facilities, starting Monday.

   But the governor said that masks must be worn in those businesses, reversing a previous position. In fact, McMaster is encouraging all local governments to pass mask ordinances in the Palmetto State. (In Fort Mill, the mask ordinance is set to expire next week unless the council extends it.)

   During a Wednesday press conference, McMaster also announced that the wearing of face masks inside restaurants and table limits of eight people are still required. Capacity must also remain at 50 percent.

   “These limited restrictions are temporary, they are measured, and they are targeted towards what we know works,” McMaster said. “These measures give South Carolina the best chance to slow the spread of the virus without shutting down the state’s economy – which we cannot and will not do – as many continue to call for.”

   In South Carolina, over 1,600 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Wednesday by state DHEC officials.

   The reopenings include racetracks, concerts, movie theaters, adult entertainment venues, spectator sports, parks, festivals, and performing arts theaters. But employees and customers must wear masks and follow social distancing and personal hygiene procedures.

    The news means football games can begin in the fall.

    One more note: Newly-opened businesses are limited to 250 people, or 50% of the posted occupancy, whichever is less. Exceptions are possible, but event organizers must show they can provide social distancing guidelines.

Also, standing or congregating in a bar area of a restaurant is prohibited. “Many restaurants have bars,” McMaster said. “No standing or congregating in a bar!”