By Kristina Rex

HYANNIS (CBS) – Following Governor Baker’s announcement that businesses can fully reopen, mask-free, on May 29, Cape Cod restaurants and shops are scrambling to prepare.

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, one business owners thought would be plagued by pandemic restrictions until the state’s initial scheduled reopening date of August 1.

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With the new plans, they have just 11 days to get ready.

“Well we’re so glad that they’re going to allow us to do whatever we can do to get back into business,” said Felis Berto Barreiro, the owner of Alberto’s restaurant on Main Street in Hyannis. “It’s going to be hard to fill in the next couple weeks because people are making reservations and we have a lot of stuff coming in, and we’re trying to piece everything together.”

The Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce President and CEO tells WBZ-TV the chamber has been fielding calls ever since the governor’s reopening announcement.

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“A lot of phone calls from tourists,” Marty Bruemmel said. “When are we open? What can we do? I think we’re also just fielding a lot of phone calls from people trying to make reservations.”

There is one challenge looming over Cape Cod business owners right now – finding workers.

As of April, the Cape had more than 2,000 summer jobs open.

“It’s very hard right now,” Barreiro said. His usual foreign summer workers have not been able to secure visas for this year, and he’s struggling to find employees with surging housing prices.

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“Some restaurants are cutting hours,” Bruemmel explained. “Some businesses are closing a day or two or a week earlier to give their staff a break, so if you’re looking for work, come to the Cape.”

Kristina Rex