Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said all businesses in the city could reopen with some limitations and restrictions in place by the end of May.

In a city council work session Tuesday, Maddox said Tuscaloosa will follow guidance from Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and the Centers for Disease Control as he seeks to ease restrictions on area businesses necessitated by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Still, Maddox said, there is reason to hope.

"We’ve got this," Maddox said, repeating what he was told by a constituent nine years ago in the aftermath of the E-F4 tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa in April 2011."We've got this because people in this community over the last eight weeks have stepped up in a very tremendous and inspiring way and they have brought us to this moment that I believe has been an exceptional COVID-19 response."

Maddox said Tuscaloosa will reopen in three phases. In Phase One, which will begin Thursday evening when Ivey allows the statewide stay-at-home order to expire, general retail and commercial services may reopen at no more than 50 percent capacity.

In Phase Two, which may begin as soon as May 15th, restaurants can re-open dining rooms, bars may operate table service and close personal services including barber shops, salons and more may operate by appointment only.

In Phase 3, all businesses including entertainment venues, gyms and fitness centers and community operations and parks may operate at no less than 50 percent capacity. Maddox suggested Phase 3 may be instituted as soon as May 22nd or May 29th, depending on guidance from Ivey and the federal government.

(City of Tuscaloosa)

Maddox also made it clear that his decisions will be made based on the advice of medical professionals and data-driven, not on political convenience.

For more information on the Reopen Tuscaloosa initiative, check out the city's dedicated website for that effort.

You can also stay tuned to this site and station for more information from Maddox, Ivey and other leaders as it becomes available.

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