Local businesses happy to welcome back customers as Illinois enters Phase 4 of reopening

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PARIS, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — Several Illinois businesses welcomed customers inside Friday for the first time in three months.

Robin Trapp, owner of Betty Jane’s Bakery in Paris, Ill., said it felt good to see her regulars.

“This our first day of phase 4 so we’ve been extremely busy,” Trapp said. “I’m so excited to see everyone’s smiling faces and just to be an asset again to the community.”

Trapp noted that although they’re happy to welcome customers inside, things are going to be slightly different.

“As of today, we’re not sure about the menus, so we’re having everyone look through Facebook or on our website to view our menu,” she explained. “We’re also waitressing with masks and keeping social distancing.”

While some businesses are getting back into the swing of things, others are taking a slower approach.

The Paris Recreation Center held off its reopening until Monday.

Rec Center Executive Director Erin Hutchison said they want to make sure everyone is safe.

“It just takes a little more time and we’ve got a lot of staff to consider,” she said. “So we’re giving ourselves plenty of time to prepare to make this organization the safest that it can be for a brand new reopening on Monday morning at 5 a.m.”

The Rec and other fitness facilities will only be open at 50% capacity.

“We want everybody to be the safest that they can be it’s inconvenient we know, but the whole world is inconvenienced right now,” she noted. “So we’re doing the best we can to bridge that gap between old normal and new normal.”

Hutchison said face masks will be required for staff but not for members; however, social distancing procedures will be in place for everyone.

“We’re limiting every other piece of cardio equipment in order to make sure that everybody is spaced out properly,” Hutchison explained.

Trapp and Hutchison both agreed the reopening has been a long time coming.

“For our business, it’s amazing because people can come up to the front counter and watch us bake and so you can communicate and have a conversation,” Trapp said. “I’ve not been able to do that since March. So to be able to have people come up to our front counter, is truly a joy.”

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