Governors are setting their own timelines on when parts of their economies shut down by the coronavirus can reopen.
Just what “reopening” means is being defined differently by individual U.S. states, and some are only discussing general timelines.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has suggested he could announce rules Monday that would allow some businesses to reopen (curbside delivery by retailers has already been allowed), and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reed has said he is likely to loosen the shelter-in-place order that expires Monday. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked for recommendations on how to reopen the Sunshine State, and his task force is now accepting suggestions from the public.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to reveal a plan for his state on April 27, while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a limited reopening in that state could begin May 15.
An impatient President Donald Trump has pushed governors to move quickly and has supported protesters in several state capitals calling for states to reopen despite the tens of thousands of deaths caused by the COVID-19 illness. The White House has published guidelines for a step-by-step lifting of shutdown rules that include having a downward trajectory on cases over 14 days, and Trump was unexpectedly critical of Georgia’s plan to begin loosening restrictions there.
Here’s what some states have announced:
Georgia: Gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors were allowed to reopen on April 24 with strict social-distancing and hygiene requirements. Hospitals can resume elective surgeries. On April 27, movie theaters can reopen, and restaurants can offer limited dine-in service. The plan has been met with skepticism within the state, as the Wall Street Journal reports.
Oklahoma: Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, pet groomers and spas have been allowed to reopen with social distancing, if they aren’t in communities with more restrictions in place. State parks and outdoor recreation areas also can reopen.
The list expands May 1 to include sit-down restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues and gyms, also with social distancing. Places of worship can reopen for in-person services if they leave every other row or pew open.
Tennessee: The state’s safer-at-home order ends April 30, so most businesses can reopen May 1. Restaurants can open for dine-in services at half-capacity starting April 27. Retail stores can open on April 29. Counties with their own health departments, which include those that are home to Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville, plan their own reopen strategies.
South Carolina: Stores selling furniture, clothing, sporting goods, books and flowers, among other retail categories, as well as department stores and flea markets, were allowed to reopen at 5 p.m. on April 20 at no more than 20% capacity and with social distancing. Beaches followed on April 21. Local and county governments could still order closures.
Colorado:Rules start loosening on April 27, when some retailers can begin with curbside pickup. In-store sales can resume May 1 with social distancing. Real-estate agents can start showing homes again on April 27, though open houses won’t be allowed. Also allowed to reopen May 1 are one-on-one personal services hair salons, tattoo shops, personal trainers, dog groomers, dental offices and other elective medical services. Offices can reopen on May 4 with 50% of their staff and with social distancing, although Gov. Jared Polis said people should continue working from home if possible. Face masks are still required, and group gatherings can’t exceed 10 people.
Alaska:Sit-down restaurant meals can resume, but only with tables comprising members of a single household and only with a reservation. Restaurants can be only 25% full, among other rules. Restaurants in Anchorage must keep a log of customers to help with any future contact tracing, among other rules. Indoor and outdoor gatherings, which include religious services, are limited to 20 people, or 25% of a building’s capacity. Retail stores can reopen, but with a limit of 20 people or 25% of capacity at a time, and only one adult from a household can enter at a time. Hair salons, barber shops and nail salons are allowed to reopen as well, also with social distancing.
Florida:Some beaches and parks have reopened. In Jacksonville, for example, they are open from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Social distancing there is required, and groups can’t exceed 49 people.
Pennsylvania:Construction projects deemed nonessential can restart on May 1. Gov. Tom Wolf has said he hopes to ease restrictions in the north-central and northwest parts of the state on May 8 to allow child-care facilities and in-store retail sales to resume operation.
Vermont:Crews of no more than two could resume outdoor work and construction in unoccupied buildings beginning April 20. Retailers could reopen with curbside pickup and delivery services.
Idaho:Its first stage for reopening could begin May 1 if certain criteria are met and would allow day cares, camps and places of worship (with social distancing) to reopen.
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