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Peru Restaurants Resume Operations as COVID Lockdown Lifts

Pedestrians are reflected in the storefront window of a Chinese restaurant displaying roasted duck in downtown Lima, Peru, July 11, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

Restaurants in Peru are accepting diners for the first time since closing four months ago at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March.

Under new guidelines, businesses on Monday resumed operations at 40% capacity. Tables were required to be at least two meters apart.

Ruben Espinoza, chef and manager of the Punto Marisko restaurant, said he is excited about the reopening even if it's only at 40% of restaurant capacity because it's a start.

The reopening of restaurants in the upscale Miraflores tourist district in the capital, Lima, attracted few diners as businesses begin to recover from the economic crisis created by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

The president of Peru's National Tourism Chamber, Carlos Canales, said some 70,000 businesses permanently closed during the lockdown, eliminating thousands of jobs during the pandemic.

Peru has confirmed more than 350,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 13,000 deaths.