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Loosened restrictions bring some relief to restaurants and bars in Washington

The Washington Hospitality Association hopes new protocols will bring more patrons into local bars and restaurants.

Washington is starting to see the fruits of diligent masking, distancing and sanitizing.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the loosening of restrictions around restaurants, businesses and youth sports. 

"I'm really pleased to say that our efforts are showing progress," Inslee said in a virtual press conference Tuesday. 

The new protocols impact youth sports, libraries and other businesses.

Anthony Anton, president of the Washington Hospitality Association, said this is great news for restaurants and bars. 

"This is a good day," he said. 

After the governor's announcement, table sizes in phase 2 and 3 counties are increasing to 6, alcohol sales are extended from 10 to 11 p.m. and parties consisting of multiple households are allowed.

RELATED: 'Keep fighting the fight': Restaurant owner fears Washington's winter weather will add to COVID setbacks

Restaurants and bars continue to reel from the pandemic. Though more places are slowly reopening, the industry is still down 100,000 jobs. 

With winter coming and outdoor seating not an option, Anton says this is a good step, but not an answer to all their troubles.

"While we're appreciative, we plead with our communities to keep wearing masks," Anton said. 

RELATED: Inslee loosens coronavirus rules on movie theaters, restaurants, youth sports