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Dining Room: Open

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(WEEK) -- After two long months, Central Illinois restaurants are back open for business inside.

But many restaurant owners worry it won't last long.

With our positivity rate and hospitalizations low enough, Region 2 which includes Greater Peoria, moved from Tier 2 to Tier 1 in just three days.

And with Tier 1 comes indoor dining.

Dining room capacity is limited to 25%.

But the president of the Heart of Illinois Hospitality Association says they still fear more shutdowns in the future and the damage that could cause.

"Your restaurant, you've putting in 80 hours a week, and you believe in what you're doing, and you believe in yourself, and then to have an outside situation like this pandemic, and the government comes in and shut them down. It's truly unfair," said Dan Kouri, President of HOIHA.

"Within a week, they could tell us to shut down again. For us restaurants who have open and shut, open and shut, each time we shut down, we had to throw away a lot of product that we can't re-sell and can't go give to the food banks," Kouri added.

He says small business owners aren't in the clear yet, since another surge of COVID-19 cases could mean restaurants are forced to close indoor dining again.

Tyler Lopez

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