Tuscaloosa allowing bars to reopen after pandemic shutdown

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Patrons stand on the Bear Trap’s rooftop bar on The Strip, the University of Alabama’s bar scene, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. More than 20,000 students returned to campus for the first time since spring break, with numerous school and city codes in effect to limit the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The city of Tuscaloosa is easing pandemic restrictions by allowing bars popular with University of Alabama students to reopen with limits.

The change that took effect Tuesday follows complaints from bar owners that a two-week shutdown meant to stem the spread of the coronavirus was unfair and hurting business.

But critics charge that allowing bars to reopen after the closure will make it easier for illness to spread.

School and city officials say the university appears to be headed in the right direction in combating the virus despite reporting 846 new cases Friday.

They say fewer new cases are being reported daily.

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