March 11, 2021 / Sara Gentzler / Bellingham Herald

State will enter Phase 3 March 22, professional sports to welcome fans

The entire state will advance March 22 to Phase 3 of the state’s “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” plan, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday, as he provided the initial, long-awaited details for the new phase.

In Phase 3, outdoor professional sports can welcome back fans at 25% capacity, according to Inslee’s office, while capacity for indoor activities such as dining at restaurants, attending worship services, and shopping at retail stores will double to 50% occupancy.

The plan will also revert to a county-by-county approach as of March 22, rather than the regional approach the state’s been using for the last two months.

The governor introduced his Healthy Washington plan in early January and it has shifted since. Before January, counties progressed through the state’s former four-phase, county-by-county “Safe Start” reopening plan, which was paused in summer, before statewide restrictions were introduced in November during a surge in cases.

All restrictions in Phase 2 will be in some way expanded in Phase 3, according to Inslee’s office. That includes restaurants, gyms, retail, movie theaters, and professional and personal services.

Up to 50 percent occupancy will be allowed for indoor activities that were allowed in Phase 2. Up to 400 people will be allowed for indoor and outdoor activities with physical distancing and masking in place, according to the governor’s office. That limit applies to events other than sports.

“More details are still being hammered out, but we are committed to entering Phase 3 on March 22 and giving people this information in advance,” spokesperson Mike Faulk wrote in an email to McClatchy.

Fans will be able to attend outdoor professional sporting events at 25 percent capacity, with physical distancing and mask-wearing in place, in time for the Seattle Mariners home opener against the San Francisco Giants April 1.

The same capacity will be allowed for high school sports, motorsports, rodeos, and other outdoor spectator events, according to Inslee’s office.

Read full article here: Bellingham Herald
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