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Indoor Dining Goes Dark Across U.S., Deepening Restaurants’ Pain

  • Indoor dining banned in Illinois, Michigan, most of California
  • ‘People in this industry are tired,’ one Chicago operator says
A waitress takes an order inside a social distancing bubble dining tent at a restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on Nov. 17.
A waitress takes an order inside a social distancing bubble dining tent at a restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on Nov. 17.Photographer: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg

Restaurants already endured lengthy shutdowns that hobbled the industry. Now, a new wave of bans on indoor dining from Philadelphia to Seattle is threatening the weakened industry.

With a record-breaking Covid-19 spike, governors and mayors across the U.S. are bringing back limits to businesses and once again, restaurants are seeing the tightest restrictions. Illinois, which was one of the first to reinstate a shutdown, is a focal point. Michigan, Kentucky and Washington state governors have also issued statewide bans on indoor dining, and it’s not allowed in most of California. New York state now has a 10 p.m. curfew, and a similar ban is “just a matter of time.”