Beshear ‘open’ to lifting virus restrictions; event centers brace for loosened rules

Beshear ‘open’ to lifting virus restrictions; event centers brace for loosened rules

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The sooner the majority of the state gets vaccinated, the better, according to Gov. Andy Beshear; he announced Monday he is keeping up with plans to loosen restrictions if Kentuckians continue to get the coronavirus vaccine.

However, events that have been put on hold are hanging in the balance, with some organizers unable to plan or book gatherings without knowing when Beshear’s restrictions will become a thing of the past.

The Kentucky Expo Center hosts events like graduations, concerts, and everything in between. Since the pandemic started over a year ago, venue leaders have changed protocols to keep employees, clients, and customers safe.

Big events like the PBR Rodeo came to Louisville in March, and spectators had socially distanced seating and a mandatory mask order.

Looking ahead at The Kentucky Expo Center’s calendar, more events are going to make a comeback. However, pandemic rules may still apply to events in the near future.

“When we talk with [clients] about how we need to structure things, it might be the frequency of cleaning during the event, spacing of the aisle, seating,” David Beck, the CEO and president at the Expo Center, explained. “We’re always going to be in compliance with the local, state, and federal government. There’s no value in this business taking a shortcut.”

Beck continued on to say the Expo Center’s calendar is full for this upcoming event season, with event coordinators and clients elated to return to Louisville.

It’s much of the same for other venues like the KFC Yum! Center; the website shows events canceled because of COVID with the rescheduled dates.

As of now, Beshear said his office has done what it can on rolling back restrictions given the state isn’t where he says it needs to be to completely drop mandates. Monday, the governor said Kentucky can expect some “major incentives” coming down the pike, even before the state reaches the 2.5 million vaccination goal.

“I’ve now answered the question seven times,” Beshear said during his daily press briefing Monday. “We are open to relaxing certain restrictions before then.”

Should any COVID mandates be lifted, Beck said the Expo Center will do it the right way.

”Some people are ready to go today as we saw in the last weekend at the Derby,” said Beck. “Others are slow to do that, but we’ll be flexible.”

Beck said the plan is to make events like the Kentucky State Fair bigger and better than the one held in 2019. It is still set to take place in August.

Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.