Redwood City launches new initiative by closing streets, hoping to help restaurants impacted by COVID-19

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Redwood City rolled out a new initiative to try and draw people back to restaurants amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative is called "Eat, Sip and Be in RWC." The city has shut down some major streets in downtown, like Broadway, so restaurants can push their tables out to the sidewalk and street.

They have also positioned hand sanitizing stations at each intersection to try and stop the spread of COVID-19.

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Indoor dining is allowed in San Mateo County. But people are feeling hesitant right now as the number of cases continues to rise.

"Well, I wouldn't go inside a restaurant right now. We have only dined in once outside, in San Carlos. We haven't thought anymore about going out because everything is so scary right now," said Redwood City resident Susanne Kyler.

Ron Wachter says he feels more comfortable eating outside.

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"I think it's about the airflow. And that can be troublesome if someone has COVID inside. So even though you think you are distanced, you might not be because of air flow," Wachter said Friday morning as he ate breakfast outside.

The closed off streets do have one side effect: it makes getting around tougher for drivers.

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"Right now, I have to go to the bank. And it was kind of a hassle. And then finding parking was a hassle as well," said Salvador Ramos of Redwood City.

But the hope is this inconvenience will be worth it for the survival of businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic. The streets will be shut down until September 30.

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