New Hampshire lifted several coronavirus restrictions this week, allowing retail stores to open at 100% capacity and bars and restaurants to welcome back some live entertainment.
Business owners in Portsmouth were thrilled on Friday, and residents -- and even travelers -- were ready for their city to open.
"Like, as soon as I flipped my sign to open, I immediately had groups of people in, and that's pretty refreshing," said Jillian MacLaughlin, a sales associate at the surf shop Summer Sessions.
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Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday that New Hampshire is flexing some of its coronavirus restrictions, including allowing retail stores to once again operate at full capacity and no longer requiring quarantine for travelers arriving in the state.
A couple from Cape Cod said they came up for the weekend because of the reopening.
"Up here it's just more open, it's more enjoyable," Jack O’Connell said.
Gov. Chris Sununu relaxed more restrictions on Thursday as well: bars and restaurants can open up their dartboards, turn on the karaoke machines and even welcome back live entertainment of up to three performers.
However, the mask mandate remains in effect, officials are still asking people to keep their distance and many stores still put out plenty of hand sanitizer.
Not all establishments will reopen right away. Andrea Johnson, manager at Portsmouth Book and Bar, said they need the space where entertainment would go for customers.
"Maybe by like, official spring, having somebody strumming a guitar in the corner, that would be fabulous," Johnson said.