It’s very different this year: Restaurants hold safe Super Bowl viewings

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Although bars remain closed, the recent easing of pandemic-related restrictions and the transition into PCOR 2 has allowed Guam restaurants to start welcoming sports fans back to their establishments. (PNC photo)

For many, the Superbowl ranks alongside Christmas as one of the biggest days of the year.

And like every other big day during the pandemic, celebrations were a little different this time around.

The Centers for Disease Control issued guidance for a safe Superbowl celebration.

In keeping with the now-familiar themes of social distancing and sanitization, the CDC recommended virtual watch parties or outdoor gatherings.

The CDC also recommended wearing masks if you’re around people who aren’t from your household, avoiding crowded or poorly-ventilated indoor areas, and washing your hands.

They also recommended that if watching with others to not yell or sing.

Instead, the CDC suggested to clap, stomp your feet, or use hand-held noisemakers.

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Although for many Guam residents, holding a Superbowl party at home, often after calling in sick to work, has become a long-standing tradition…some prefer to watch the game in a more public venue.

Although bars remain closed, the recent easing of pandemic-related restrictions and the transition into PCOR 2 has allowed Guam restaurants to start welcoming sports fans back to their establishments.

Two restaurants that held watch parties are Chili’s and TGIFriday’s.

Both restaurants say they took guidance from Public Health to keep their customers safe.

They both took their customers’ temperature, blocked off tables to maintain 6 feet of distance, had a sign-in sheet to help with contact tracing, and kept their capacity at 50%.

Chili’s restaurant manager Chris Garrido says that even with the pandemic, they weren’t worried that people would stay home out of safety concerns.

In fact, it was the opposite.

“The big concern was that we’d actually have too many people wanting to come in. In that case, we’d have no choice but to not take anybody else in unless we do have more bodies come out. So we’d make sure we do not pass that 50% capacity,” Garrido said.

He added: “I have heard other restaurants are taking reservations. But the best thing, to give everybody a fair chance, is just to be first-come, first-serve basis. With everything going on we felt that would be the best bet.”

TGIFriday’s supervisor Seth Simbang says they also opted for a first-come, first serve policy after several people tried to call and get reservations.

He said that although he’s glad they’re busy, he can’t help but compare it to the way things were before the pandemic.

“I wish it would be busier. It’s Superbowl, it’s usually so packed, but it’s at 50%, so this is what we have so far and hopefully, everyone can enjoy it,” Simbang said.

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