SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) -The mayor of Springfield signed an emergency order to step up enforcement of Phase 4 guidelines in bars and restaurants.

Local restaurant owners like Mark Forinash, who owns Cafe Moxo, said following these rules may help flatten the curve in Springfield.

Cafe Moxo has been serving the Springfield community for 13 years and Forinash said when COVID-19 hit, the cafe had to come up with a new way to do business.

"What's going to make you successful is having a responsible business that cares about the community," Forinash said. "I think we were always sanitary and safe before, but we have really stepped it up a notch."

According to Forinash, restaurants like his are taking every measure possible to protect customers and employees from getting the virus.

"I tell my employees, I don't know everything," Forinash said. "I'm trying to learn the best I can as we go through this process."

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health actually has a list of regulations restaurants and bars must follow.

"We have a thick packet that we have to follow, whether it's how often you wipe things down, or should you mask up or what happens if someone comes in without a mask," Forinash said.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said a lot of businesses are already following the proper guidelines. 

"It's incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to make sure we stay in Phase 4," Langfelder said.

For those that aren't, an executive order was signed by Langfelder that said bars and restaurants not in compliance could face a $500 fine or even have their liquor license suspended.

"It goes verbal warning, then it will be a fine and after that, it could be a suspension of their liquor license," Langfelder said.

The mayor said city officials will be stepping up the enforcement of these rules.

"Public health is under Sangamon County, and they can do their own enforcement. I asked when they do inspections on regular basis, to come up with regulations for COVID compliance," Langfelder said. "For the city of Springfield ... the fire department will go out during the day, police at night in regards to those complaints."

Forinash said this enforcement may help the city move forward from COVID-19.

"There's a responsibility to just follow things, and do it the right way," Forinash says. "Following the rules, if that can allow us not to shut down or go back a phase, I think it just makes sense."

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.