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Defiant patrons could earn Shelby County Restaurants and bars fines

Monday, Shelby County Commissioners approved fining a business $50 per person, per COVID-19 health directive violation.

Restaurants can stay open, but they and other businesses could rack up fines pretty fast if their customers ignore Shelby County health directives.

Monday, Commissioners approved fining a business $50 per person, per violation.

Small businesses like restaurants and bars first opposed the ordinance when it was proposed, but with the ability to submit evidence in defense in court it seems the Memphis Restaurant Sssociation is now on board.

The $50 civil fine is an answer to large super spreader events like the controversial In Love Memphis nightclub party over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Shelby County Commissioner, Brandon Morrison says restaurants that have been obeying the rules won't be affect the fines.

"The point, in my view of the ordinance is to keep businesses open. So, as one business owner said to me we need stiffer penalties for the very, very few bad actors," said Morrision.

The new ordinance goes into effect on New Year's Eve.

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