On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee announced several updates to Washington’s Safe Start reopening plan. The changes seek to align guidance and adjustments to regulations of several industries.
“We’re doing this now because we have had ongoing conversations with businesses about how to do these activities safely,” Inslee said at a press conference Tuesday. “Instead of tightening restrictions, we can roll some more back to allow safer operation of these activities. Here in Washington, we know the threat of COVID is real and we take it seriously. It is safety, and public health, that come first before anything else in this unprecedented time.”
Following a spike in COVID cases in July, Inslee announced a pause to the Safe Start reopening plan. With today’s announcement, all 39 counties will remain in their current phases, but the governor’s announcement allows for more activity in some of the phases. The updated guidance is effective immediately.
Libraries: These guidelines will align regulations with that of museums, allowing some indoor activity in Phase 2 at 25% capacity.
Youth/Adult Sports: These guidelines will align school-related and non-school related sports guidance. Tournaments and crowds are prohibited in counties that aren’t in the low-risk category, but these guidelines will allow more school and non-school sports, both indoor and outdoor, according to a combination of local metrics. These metrics are aligned with state metrics for school opening recommendations. It also provides specific protocols for transportation, group size and facial coverings.
Movie Theaters: These guidelines will allow for occupancy in Phase 2 at 25% and 50% in Phase 3. Theater attendees will be required to maintain a 6 feet social distance between households and to wear facial coverings at all times when not eating and drinking.
Restaurants: These guidelines will move alcohol cutoff from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. for Phases 2 and 3, as well as eliminates the indoor household member restriction for indoor dining. Additionally, the guidelines will allow for the increase of table size to six in Phase 2 and eight in Phase 3.
Wedding Receptions: These guidelines will increase the total number of wedding reception attendees to 50 in Phase 3.
Retail Events (craft sales shows, etc.): These guidelines will expand the miscellaneous venues guidance to allow outdoor retail event shows in Phase 3 only, capping attendance to 200 people.
Real Estate: These guidelines will allow for open houses, but limit attendance by the counties’ gathering size limit in accordance to their Phase.
Outdoor recreation (running/bicycling/etc.): These guidelines will provide protocols for Phases 2 and 3 for races, bicycle tours and rides, runs, cross country skiing races, biathlons, canoe and kayak races, marathons, cross country running competitions, triathlons, and multi-sport competitions with more than 12 participants.
Water Recreation Facilities: This guidance updates the current guidance for water recreational activities and facilities in Modified Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 counties.