• Alabama: Gov. Kay Ivey (R) issued a new Safer Apart order, effective at 5 p.m. on April 9. The order lifts a statewide mask mandate but encourages people to wear one when within 6 feet of someone from another household. Get-togethers are allowed, but individuals from different households should maintain a 6-foot distance from one another. Individuals infected with COVID-19 must quarantine at home. Businesses and employers are encouraged to implement sanitation and safety protocols. As of March 6, hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities could permit residents to receive two visitors at a time, subject to other restrictions. The Safer Apart order remains in effect until 5 p.m. on May 5.
• Alaska: Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) modified a travel mandate on Feb. 14. Visitors arriving in Alaska must opt for one of several options, such as showing a negative COVID-19 test or submitting to a test upon arrival. Critical infrastructure workers are exempt. Previously, Dunleavy permitted all businesses — including restaurants, hair salons, gyms, museums and entertainment venues — to reopen at 100 percent capacity. Safeguards are recommended. In group gatherings, individuals from separate households are encouraged to maintain a 6-foot distance from one another. Local authorities and private businesses may enact stricter requirements, including mask mandates.
• Arizona: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed an order lifting restrictions on organized events. Planners of events with more than 50 people no longer need to seek approval first. The order also states that local mask mandates will be phased out, although mask wearing is still encouraged. Previously, Ducey lifted occupancy limits on businesses, including restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters and water parks. Businesses are encouraged, but not required, to follow CDC guidance. Travelers are free to visit the state without quarantining or providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
• Arkansas: Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) lifted a mask mandate on March 30. Previously, Hutchinson signed an order that converted health department directives pertaining to restrictions on businesses and gatherings to guidance. Restaurants, bars, gyms and large venues no longer have capacity restrictions.
• California: Under the direction of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), the health department updated restrictions on April 2. All regions are under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, with each county falling into one of four color-coded tiers: purple (where the coronavirus is most widespread), red, orange and yellow (where it is least prevalent).
Under all tiers, gatherings are permitted statewide, but no more than three households can attend, and the space has to be big enough to allow people to practice social distancing. In purple-tier areas, no indoor gatherings are allowed (only outdoor). Restaurants can offer outdoor dining, and retail stores must limit indoor capacity to 25 percent. Hair salons and barbershops can offer indoor service, with restrictions. Gyms and fitness centers can open for outdoor activities. Many other nonessential businesses — such as nightclubs and amusement parks — remain closed. Effective April 1, purple-tier counties can allow up to 100 regional guests at outdoor live events with assigned seats.
In red-tier counties, restaurants can resume indoor dining at 25 percent capacity or 100 patrons, whichever is fewer. Retail stores may operate at 50 percent capacity, and museums can reopen indoors at 25 percent capacity. Indoor movie theaters can operate at 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 100 people. Gyms can open indoor facilities at 10 percent capacity. Effective April 1, amusement parks in red-tier counties can open to in-state visitors at 15 percent capacity. For counties in the orange tier, bars that don’t serve food are among the businesses that can reopen for outdoor service. Amusement parks can operate at 25 percent capacity. Offices can reopen, but telecommuting is still encouraged. For counties in the yellow tier, most businesses can reopen, but they must follow safety precautions.
For a full list of restrictions, visit covid19.ca.gov. The governor has ordered everyone to wear a face mask in public spaces; children under age 2 and people with certain medical disabilities are among those exempt. He also signed a bill into law that requires businesses to report COVID-19 outbreaks to local officials as well as to employees who may have been exposed to the coronavirus while at work.
• Colorado: Gov. Jared Polis (D) amended and extended a mask mandate until May 2. People 11 and older must wear a face covering in areas such as schools, public areas of state facilities, personal services businesses and health care centers. In green-level counties, authorities can modify or lift mask requirements. In other counties, masks must be worn in indoor public spaces or where 10 or more unvaccinated people (or people of unknown vaccination status) are gathered. The mandate doesn’t extend to private residences.
Previously, the health department updated the limitations on businesses under the state’s Dial framework, a tool that determines restrictions by county. Counties fall into one of six color-coded levels of risk, depending on the incidence of COVID-19. Under level green, the least restrictive, most businesses can operate without restrictions (though local restrictions may apply). Indoor bars and indoor entertainment venues must limit capacity to 50 percent or 500 people, whichever is smaller. In level-blue counties, restaurants and gyms can operate at 100 percent capacity as long as parties maintain a 6-foot distance from one another. Indoor bars can operate at 25 percent capacity, with a maximum of 75 patrons. Retail stores can operate at 75 percent capacity. Personal-care services can operate at 50 percent capacity or 50 people (whichever is smaller). In yellow counties, restaurants can operate at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 150 customers. For personal gatherings, people should follow CDC guidelines.
• Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont (D) lifted capacity restrictions on restaurants, retail stores, gyms and other businesses, effective March 19. Restaurants must continue to limit parties to eight people and close dining by 11 p.m. Events at commercial and entertainment venues, such as movie theaters and bowling alleys, must also end by 11 p.m. Indoor theaters are required to limit capacity to 50 percent. Lamont also said he will adjust caps on social gatherings. At private residences, up to 25 people can gather indoors and up to 100 can meet outdoors. At commercial venues, 100 people can gather indoors and 200 can congregate outdoors. Requirements for social distancing, sanitation and masking remain in place. Anyone over age 2 must wear a face covering in public places, indoors and outdoors, when social distancing cannot be maintained. Masks must be worn at gyms and fitness centers even with social distancing. A travel mandate is no longer in effect. Visitors or returning residents are advised to follow CDC guidance.
How and Why to Double-Mask
• Delaware: Gov. John Carney (D) modified coronavirus-related restrictions on outdoor gatherings. Effective April 1, outdoor events at venues without a fire-occupancy limit are capped at 150 people. If a venue of 100,000 square feet or more has an outdoor occupancy limit, it must restrict capacity to 50 percent. If an outdoor venue of 100,000 square feet or under has an outdoor occupancy limit, it must restrict capacity to 75 percent. With permission from the health department, outdoor gatherings of more than 150 people are allowed. Public indoor events continue to be limited to 50 percent of the venue’s fire occupancy or 25 people (whichever is smaller). With permission from the health department, public indoor gatherings of up to 150 people are allowed. Get-togethers at private residences may not exceed 10 people. Restaurants can offer indoor dining at 50 percent of their fire occupancy, but only customers from the same household can sit together. Retail stores, gyms and most other businesses can also operate at 50 percent capacity, among other restrictions. Individuals must wear a face covering when in indoor public places, including grocery stores and on mass transit, and when in outdoor public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained.
• District of Columbia: Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced she will further loosen some coronavirus restrictions. Effective May 1, live outdoor events can host up to 500 people. Movie theaters, business conventions and other special events will be able to operate at 25 percent capacity. Pools, recreation centers, libraries, nonessential retail and museums can bump up capacity to 50 percent. Under current restrictions, outdoor gatherings of 50 people are allowed. Private indoor gatherings of 10 people are allowed. Indoor dining can continue at 25 percent capacity or 250 people, whichever is smaller. Restaurants can serve alcohol until midnight. Gyms and fitness centers can operate at 25 percent capacity or 250 people, whichever is smaller. Indoor group classes must be capped at 10 people, and outdoor classes at 50. Movie theaters can operate at 25 percent capacity or 25 people, whichever is smaller. Museums and libraries can operate at 25 percent capacity, although the Smithsonian museums haven’t reopened. Grocery stores and big-box retailers must implement social distancing and limit occupancy. Visitors to Washington from areas with a high rate of coronavirus infections must either get a COVID-19 test 72 hours before arrival and again three to five days after arrival or self-quarantine for 14 days. District residents returning from other states must limit their activities for two weeks or get tested upon their return; residents of Maryland and Virginia are exempt. Vaccinated travelers are also exempt. The mayor ordered people older than 2 to wear a mask when leaving their residence if more than fleeting contact with others is likely. Masks also must be worn on National Park Service-managed lands, including trails, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
• Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed an order lifting most coronavirus-related restrictions and moving the state to Phase 3 of its reopening plan, under which all businesses can reopen. Restaurants and bars are no longer subject to occupancy restrictions. However, city or county governments can impose occupancy limits on restaurants and bars (to as low as 50 percent capacity) if authorities state in the local order why the restriction is necessary for public health. DeSantis’ new order also removes fees or penalties for individuals who don’t follow social distancing practices, including mask mandates. The order went into effect Sept. 25.
• Georgia: Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed an order, effective April 8, that lifts a shelter-in-place mandate for vulnerable individuals. The order also removes restrictions on gatherings. Businesses are required to implement certain safety precautions; for example, restaurants must separate tables by 42 inches or use a barrier between them, and gyms must provide sanitation stations near equipment. Kemp has strongly encouraged all residents to wear a face mask while outside their home but stopped short of requiring it.
• Hawaii: Gov. David Ige (D) issued a proclamation that will allow fully vaccinated travelers to bypass quarantine or testing requirements. Travelers will be required to upload valid documents to the state’s Safe Travel program or otherwise show validation. Alternatively, travelers arriving in Hawaii from out of state must either show a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within 72 hours pre-travel or self-quarantine for 10 days. Some islands require a second test, post-arrival. Visitors to Kauai must quarantine for 10 days, with or without a negative test result. Ige also extended until June 8 a moratorium on residential evictions for tenants who fail to pay rent.
A statewide mandate requires individuals age 5 and older to wear a face mask in public settings. Masks are not required outdoors if individuals can maintain social distancing from nonhousehold members. The state is under the Act With Care plan for reopening, which allows many businesses to resume operations, with restrictions. Each county has its own restrictions on gatherings.
• Idaho: Gov. Brad Little (R) signed an order that moves the state to Stage 3 of its reopening plan. Indoor or outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. Religious and political gatherings are exempt from size restrictions, but social distancing and sanitation measures must be in place. With permission, events such as weddings and funerals may also exceed participant limits. The organizer must apply for an exemption with the local health department. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs can continue to operate. Tables must be spaced 6 feet apart, and customers must remain seated unless arriving, leaving or using the restroom. Little has not issued a statewide mask mandate, but individuals over age 5 must wear a mask at long-term care facilities. Businesses may remain open but must take steps to limit close interactions when serving patrons, among other restrictions.
• Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced a new framework called the Bridge Phase to move the state from its current Phase 4 rules to Phase 5, the new normal. To reach the Bridge Phase, 70 percent of residents 65 and older must be vaccinated, among other metrics. Capacity limits on many businesses will increase to 60 percent. Social gathering limits will also increase.
Under current Phase 4 restrictions, indoor dining at restaurants and bars is allowed. Parties cannot exceed 10 people and tables should be spaced 6 feet apart. Retail stores and personal care services, such as hair salons, can operate at 50 percent capacity and museums at 25 percent occupancy. Bowling alleys, skating rinks and other indoor recreational facilities can operate at 50 percent capacity with a max of 50 people. Gatherings are capped at 50 people. A statewide mask mandate requires anyone over age 2 to wear a face covering when indoors in a public space or when outside if a 6-foot distance between people cannot be maintained.
• Indiana: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) lifted a statewide mask mandate April 6. Local authorities and businesses can implement face covering requirements. Holcomb issued guidance on gatherings based on a county-by-county approach. Counties designated as red or orange (areas with the highest risk of coronavirus spread) are recommended to limit social gatherings to 25 percent of a facility’s capacity. Counties designated as yellow are recommended to limit social gatherings to 50 percent of a facility’s capacity. Counties designated as blue can operate at full capacity, as long as social distancing, mask wearing and other precautions are followed. Previously, Holcomb lifted nearly all restrictions on businesses.
• Iowa: Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a proclamation lifting a mask mandate and other coronavirus-related restrictions, effective Feb. 7. Individuals age 65 and older are encouraged, but not required, to limit activities outside of the home. Businesses, including restaurants, bars, movie theaters and hair salons, are strongly encouraged to take precautionary measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Mass gatherings and events have no limits on size, but people are encouraged to practice social distancing.
• Kansas: Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed an order on April 1 that extended a mask mandate, but the Legislative Coordinating Council quickly voted to rescind it. A law that went into effect last month requires the council to review any executive order related to the pandemic and gives them the authority to revoke it. Previously, Kelly announced that counties should come up with their own plans to reopen businesses. A statewide plan to restart the economy in phases offers guidance, but counties aren’t required to follow it. The state Department of Health and Environment mandated a quarantine for people arriving in Kansas who traveled to certain states or countries with widespread transmission, but the length of quarantine varies depending on whether the individual has been tested. The mandate also applies to anyone who traveled on a cruise ship on or after March 15.
• Kentucky: Gov. Andy Beshear (D) has extended the curfew on restaurants and bars by one hour. They must stop food and drink service by midnight and close by 1 a.m. Indoor dining capacity is capped at 60 percent. Indoor event venues, theaters, gyms, retail stores and personal-care services must also limit occupancy to 60 percent. Previously, Beshear extended, through March, a mask mandate that requires anyone over age 5 to wear a face covering while inside a public space, while using public transportation and while outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. A restriction on private indoor gatherings has expired, but the governor continues to recommend a cap of eight people from no more than two households.
• Louisiana: Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is lifting some restrictions on businesses but leaving a statewide mask mandate in place. The majority of businesses, including restaurants, bars, gyms and hair salons, no longer have capacity limits. Businesses must continue to keep waiting areas closed, and restaurants still cannot allow self-serve buffets. Indoor gatherings and event centers are capped at 50 percent capacity or 500 people (whichever is less). Previously, Edwards allowed live music to be performed indoors under additional guidance from the state fire marshal. Everyone 8 and older must wear a face mask in public spaces, indoors and outdoors, unless social distancing can be maintained. The order lasts until April 28.
• Maine: Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed an order that increases gathering limits and loosens travel restrictions. Effective March 26, indoor gathering limits and indoor customer limits for businesses are capped at 50 percent capacity, 50 people or 5 people per 1,000 square feet (whichever is greatest). On May 24, that standard changes to 75 percent capacity, 50 people or 5 people per 1,000 square feet (whichever is greatest). Outdoor gatherings at a venue with occupancy limits can operate at 75 percent capacity until May 24, when they can increase to 100 percent capacity. Face coverings are mandatory statewide for anyone 5 and older in public spaces, even if social distancing can be maintained. A travel mandate requires those visiting Maine to show a negative COVID-19 test or self-quarantine for 10 days. Travelers from some states, including Vermont and New Hampshire, are exempt. Fully vaccinated individuals or those who have previously contracted COVID-19 are also exempt.
• Maryland: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed an order that lifts capacity restrictions in the state’s reopening plan. As of 5 p.m. on March 12, restaurants, bars, retail stores, fitness centers, religious centers and personal-care services are among businesses that can operate at 100 percent capacity. Indoor and outdoor venues and convention centers may operate at 50 percent capacity. Restaurants must continue to serve only patrons who are seated. Safety protocols, such as physical distancing, remain in place. Individual counties can still impose tighter restrictions. Senior centers must remain closed. The new order also extends a mask mandate. People older than 5 must wear a face covering in the public spaces of all businesses or areas outdoors where social distancing cannot be maintained. Previously, under Hogan’s direction, the health department recommended a cap of 10 people at private indoor and outdoor gatherings.This is Usefull Links:
In Montgomery County the County Council voted to lift a ban on indoor dining. Effective 7 a.m. on Feb. 14, restaurants were allowed to resume indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Meals must be limited to 90 minutes.
• Massachusetts: Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced the state will move to Step 1 of Phase IV of its reopening plan on March 22. In this phase, stadiums, arenas and ballparks that submit a plan to the health department can open at 12 percent capacity. Public indoor gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed and public outdoors gatherings of up to 150 people will be allowed. Private indoor gatherings remain capped at 10 people, and private outdoor get-togethers are limited to 25 participants. A travel mandate will become an advisory. Travelers entering the state, including returning residents, are encouraged to self-quarantine for 10 days unless they have been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 in the prior 72 hours.
Previously, capacity limits on restaurants were lifted, but tables must be spaced 6 feet apart and parties are limited to six people. Restaurants must continue to impose a 90-minute limit on dining. Retail stores, offices, movie theaters, places of worship, gyms and museums are among the businesses that can increase capacity to 50 percent (up from 40). Indoor performance venues, like concert halls, can also operate at 50 percent capacity but must cap attendance at 500 people. Everyone over age 5 must wear a mask in public places, indoors and outdoors. Masks must also be worn in gyms and athletic facilities at all times.
• Michigan: Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has asked residents to voluntarily comply with the following restrictions: Avoid indoor dining, don’t gather with people outside the household, return to remote learning for school, and suspend youth sports and activities. The state health department’s mandatory restrictions, effective through April 19, are more lenient. For residential social gatherings, 15 people from three households are allowed when indoors; up to 50 people are permitted when socializing outdoors. Nonresidential gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 300 outdoors, with restrictions. Face mask requirements remain. Restaurants and bars can open indoor dining at 50 percent capacity or 100 people (whichever is smaller). Outdoor dining is allowed at 100 percent capacity. Whether indoors or outdoors, tables must be 6 feet apart, with no more than six people. An 11 p.m. curfew remains in place. Indoor entertainment venues can operate at 50 percent capacity or 300 people, with restrictions. Retail establishments, libraries and museums can also operate at 50 percent capacity, with safety measures in place. Gyms and fitness groups, as well as casinos, are limited to 30 percent capacity. Stadiums and arenas with capacity under 10,000 may have up to 375 people, while those that hold over 10,000 patrons may have up to 750.
A statewide mask mandate requires a face covering when people from more than two households gather together, whether indoors or outdoors. Masks aren’t required for those under age 5 or for those at residential gatherings if all parties have been fully vaccinated.
• Minnesota: On March 12, Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed an order to ease coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses and gatherings. Restaurants and bars can offer indoor dining at 75 percent capacity with a maximum of 250 people. Parties must be limited to six people, and on-site dining services must still close by 11 p.m. Gyms and fitness centers can operate at 50 percent capacity. Masks must be worn in gyms and fitness centers at all times. Personal care businesses, such as hair salons and tattoo parlors, will no longer be subject to capacity limits. Outdoor and indoor entertainment venues can operate at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 250 people. Masks are required at indoor entertainment venues and strongly recommended at outdoor ones. Indoor gatherings of up to 15 people are now allowed, while outdoor get-togethers can have a maximum of 50 people. Previously, Walz ordered that people over age 5 must wear a mask when inside a business or public space or when using public transportation, a taxi or a ride-hailing service. Workers must wear a mask outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained.
• Mississippi: Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signed an order extending and amending coronavirus-related restrictions as of March 31. Events at indoor arenas are permitted to operate at 75 percent seating capacity. K-12 organized events, such as sports competitions, are limited to 50 percent capacity. The order extends a previous one in which Reeves encourages, but does not require, Mississippi residents to wear face coverings when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from individuals not in the same household; to avoid large gatherings, particularly indoors; to practice social distancing and handwashing; and to stay home if they feel sick or have COVID-19 symptoms. Businesses should comply with federal and state coronavirus guidelines, such as adopting social distancing, masking and sanitation practices. The order remains in effect until 5:00 p.m. on April 30.
• Missouri: After initially putting the state under a stay-at-home order last April, Gov. Mike Parson (R) fully reopened the state on June 16, 2020. According to a press release issued by the governor’s office, “All statewide restrictions will be lifted, though local officials will still have the authority to put further rules, regulations or ordinances in place.” Parson encouraged people to maintain social distancing and take precautions, such as practicing good hygiene and avoiding large crowds.
• Montana: Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) issued a directive allowing a statewide mask mandate to expire. The directive stated that local jurisdictions may implement a mask mandate. Gianforte also issued a directive encouraging businesses to develop and implement appropriate social distancing, safety and sanitation practices. Previously, the governor lifted coronavirus-related restrictions put in place by his predecessor, Steve Bullock, such as gathering limits and curfews on businesses.
• Nebraska: Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) announced changes to the state’s directed health measures. Effective Jan. 30, the state moved from the blue to the green phase of its reopening plan. Indoor gatherings at theaters, arenas, stadiums, auctions and similar establishments can increase to 100 percent capacity. Parties are encouraged, but not required, to maintain a 6-foot distance from one another. Those wishing to hold events of 500 people or more must submit a plan to the local health department. Restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness centers and salons are among businesses that can operate at 100 percent capacity and without restrictions. Businesses are encouraged to follow recommended guidance.
What to Say When You Have Been Exposed to COVID
• Nevada: Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) modified current gathering restrictions, effective March 15. Public gatherings are capped at 50 percent capacity or 250 people, whichever is smaller. Venues that want to have a larger gathering can submit a plan for approval. Private gatherings at residences cannot exceed 10 people inside and 25 people outside (unless everyone is from the same household). Under current restrictions, most businesses, including restaurants, retail stores, bars, gyms, libraries, amusement parks and casinos, can operate at 50 percent of fire-code capacity. A statewide mask mandate remains in effect. People over age 9 must wear a face covering whenever they leave home, indoors or outdoors, including at private gatherings or at an indoor gym, fitness center or dance studio.
• New Hampshire: Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced he won’t extend a mask mandate that expired April 16. Businesses or municipalities can still require masks. Under current restrictions, restaurants can offer both indoor and outdoor service, but tables should be spaced 6 feet apart, among other guidelines. Gyms can reopen at 50 percent capacity. Previously, Sununu permitted retail stores, hair salons, barbershops and similar businesses to reopen, with restrictions. Non-international travelers, visitors and residents arriving in the state no longer have to meet self-quarantine restrictions, although travelers are advised to follow CDC guidance.
• New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an order that loosens restrictions on gatherings and some businesses. Indoor gatherings are capped at 25 people (up from 10). On April 2 the outdoor-gathering limit rises to 200 people. Restaurants, bars and other food establishments can operate at 50 percent capacity (up from 35 percent). Gyms, athletic facilities and personal-care businesses, such as nail salons and barbershops, may also operate at 50 percent capacity. Indoor entertainment facilities, including movie theaters and performing arts centers, can operate at 35 percent capacity, with a maximum of 150 people. Nonreligious weddings and funerals are among indoor activities that are restricted to 35 percent of a venue’s capacity, with a maximum of 150 attendees. Religious weddings, funerals and other ceremonies can use up to 50 percent of a venue’s capacity. Large entertainment venues with fixed seating of 5,000 or more, such as stadiums, can allow patrons to attend indoor events at 10 percent capacity and outdoor activities at 15 percent capacity. Indoor interstate youth competitions are prohibited.
The governor ordered people to wear face coverings when outside in public spaces if social distancing cannot be maintained. Cloth masks are required in grocery stores and in other indoor public spaces.
• New Mexico: Under the direction of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), the health department moved to a color-coded framework where a county’s restrictions depend on virus risk. In high-risk red counties, indoor dining isn’t permitted, outdoor dining is limited to 25 percent capacity and food establishments that serve alcohol must close by 9 p.m. Most businesses can operate at 25 percent capacity with maximum customer limits that depend on the type of establishment (for example, close-contact businesses are capped at 10 people). Gatherings are limited to 5 people. In yellow counties, gathering limits increase to 10 people. Restaurants can operate at 25 capacity indoors, 75 percent capacity outdoors and, if they serve alcohol, must close by 10 p.m. Customer limits at other businesses can increase. In green counties, gatherings of up to 20 people are allowed. Restaurants can operate at 50 percent capacity indoors and 75 percent capacity outdoors. Most other businesses can operate at 50 percent capacity. Essential businesses aren’t subject to capacity restrictions. Individuals statewide must wear a mask when in a public space.
• New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that gatherings for graduation ceremonies will be allowed, as of May 1. The capacity limits depend on the size of the venue and whether the ceremony is indoors or outdoors. Restaurants in New York City can operate at 50 percent capacity; eateries outside of NYC can operate at 75 percent capacity. The state is in phase 4 of its reopening plan. Zoos, nature parks, outdoor museums and other low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity; indoor arts and entertainment venues can operate at 25 percent capacity; and gyms and fitness centers can operate at 33 percent capacity. An 11 p.m. curfew on gyms and fitness centers expired April 5. Since March 5, movie theaters have been open statewide at 25 percent capacity, with no more than 50 people per theater. Indoor private gatherings at residences are limited to 10 people, but up to 25 people may gather outdoors. If the social gathering is at a nonresidential location, the cap is 100 people inside and 200 outside. Nursing homes that meet certain benchmarks can receive visitors. Depending on the benchmark, visitors may be required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or take a rapid test on-site. Proof of vaccination is also acceptable.
Asymptomatic visitors arriving in New York are no longer required to quarantine or get tested. Travelers with symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate. International travelers must follow CDC requirements, such as obtaining a negative test before boarding a plane. Individuals over age 2 must wear a face mask in public if social distancing cannot be maintained.
• North Carolina: Gov. Roy Cooper (D) signed an order easing some restrictions, effective March 26 at 5 p.m. Museums, retail stores and hair salons are among businesses that can operate at 100 percent capacity, with other restrictions in place. Indoor restaurants, gyms and recreational facilities are among businesses that can operate at 75 percent capacity (100 percent capacity if outdoors). Bars, movie theaters, office conference rooms and sports arenas are among places that can operate at 50 percent capacity, whether indoors or outdoors. The ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption after 11 p.m. has been lifted. Regardless of capacity limits, social distancing and other safety protocols must be in place. Indoor get-togethers are capped at 50 people; those held outside are capped at 100.
The order also extends a mask mandate. Unless at home, individuals age 5 and older must wear a face covering in any indoor space when they are near people not from their household, even if social distancing can be maintained. People must also wear a mask outside unless they can consistently maintain a distance of 6 feet from those outside their household. Masks must be worn while inside gyms or exercising outdoors within 6 feet of a nonhousehold member. The new order lasts until April 30.
• North Dakota: Under the direction of Gov. Doug Burgum (R), the state health officer adjusted coronavirus-related restrictions on certain businesses. Effective Jan. 29, the state moved from a moderate (yellow) risk level designation to a low (green) risk level. Restaurants and other food establishments can increase service to 80 percent capacity or 300 people, whichever is smaller. Event venues, such as ballrooms, are limited to 75 percent capacity, with a cap on the number of people. The cap differs based on the designation for each county under the state’s Smart Restart plan. A statewide mask mandate expired in January. In March, Burgum rescinded two orders placing restrictions on assisted living facilities, including testing residents and staff. The facilities are encouraged to follow CDC guidance on testing, service and in-person visitors.
• Ohio: Under the direction of Gov. Mike DeWine (R), the health department issued a new order, effective April 5, that updated and consolidated coronavirus-related restrictions on gatherings, face coverings and social distancing. Statewide, people must wear face coverings when inside a location that is not a residence, when using public transportation or when outside if a 6-foot distance between nonhousehold members cannot be maintained. Children younger than 10 and individuals with certain medical conditions are among those who are exempt. A prohibition on public and private gatherings of more than 10 people has been lifted, and the guideline is now a recommendation. As of March 2, indoor sports and entertainment venues have been permitted to seat spectators at up to 25 percent capacity. Social distancing should be practiced at all gatherings. Restaurants can offer table service indoors but cannot seat parties larger than 10. Previous orders that placed restrictions on businesses have been rescinded. The state is no longer issuing a travel advisory, but travelers are encouraged to follow CDC guidance.
• Oklahoma: On March 11, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced that he will sign an order that lifts restrictions on events and residents. He also said individuals will no longer be required to wear masks in state buildings. Under the direction of Stitt, the health department updated the county-by-county designation for COVID-19 risk. Guidance for individuals in counties in the moderate (orange) phase encourages small gatherings, limiting travel and wearing a face mask in public spaces. Guidance for businesses includes offering teleworking options for employees when possible. Businesses should also implement sanitation and social distancing practices. In counties in the low (yellow) phase, businesses are encouraged to implement flexible work arrangements, and those holding large gatherings should take hygiene and safety measures. Guidance for individuals in counties in the green (new normal) phase encourages practicing physical distancing and wearing masks where distancing isn’t possible. At events and large gatherings, the guidance encourages heightened sanitation protocols.
• Oregon: Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced modifications to coronavirus-related restrictions. Current restrictions depend on a county’s risk level. In red counties, businesses must require remote work if possible. Indoor dining is prohibited. Outdoor dining is capped at 50 people and cannot include more than six individuals in a party. Retail stores can operate at 50 percent occupancy. Houses of worship may operate at 25 percent occupancy with a maximum of 100 people indoors or 150 people outdoors. Movie theaters, gyms and other indoor entertainment and recreational venues that are 500 square feet or larger can allow up to four groups with a cap of six individuals in each group. For facilities smaller than 500 square feet, one-on-one customer experiences are allowed (e.g., personal training). Private gatherings, indoors or outdoors, cannot exceed six people.
In orange counties, up to eight people are permitted for outdoor private gatherings. Restaurants can offer indoor dining at 25 percent capacity or 50 people, whichever is smaller. Indoor entertainment and fitness facilities can also operate at 25 percent capacity or 50 people. In yellow counties, restaurants can offer indoor dining at 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 100 people, and outdoor dining with up to 150 people. Indoor private gatherings cannot exceed eight people, and outdoor private gatherings are capped at 10.
In green counties, indoor private gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed, while outdoor private gatherings are limited to 12 people. Restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues are among businesses that can operate at 50 percent capacity. In red, orange and yellow counties, food and drink establishments must close by 11 p.m. In green counties, food and drink establishments must close by midnight.
Previously, Brown ordered people 5 and older to wear face coverings in outdoor areas where a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained and in indoor public spaces.
• Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed an order that amended restrictions on gatherings and businesses. Effective April 1, gatherings are limited to 25 percent of a venue’s capacity if indoors and 50 percent if outdoors. Participants must wear masks and adhere to social distancing and other safety measures. Restaurants, bars and other food establishments can resume indoor dining at 50 percent capacity as long as physical distancing and other mitigation measures are in place. Gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters, museums and other indoor entertainment venues can operate at 75 percent capacity. Effective March 1, visitors and returning residents are no longer required to show a negative COVID-19 test or self-quarantine. A mask mandate remains in effect. Individuals age 2 and older must wear a face covering in indoor public zones. Masks are also required outside if a 6-foot distance between nonhousehold members cannot be maintained. Previously, the governor announced that Pennsylvania Turnpike tollbooths will stop taking cash.
• Rhode Island: Gov. Dan McKee (D) loosened coronavirus-related restrictions. As of March 19, restaurants have been allowed to offer indoor service at 75 percent capacity. Bar areas must be roped off by 11 p.m. (or midnight if serving food). Retail stores, gyms and personal-care establishments can permit one patron per 50 square feet (big-box stores may have one person per 100 square feet). Houses of worship can offer indoor services at 75 percent capacity. Venues of assembly, such as concert halls and spectator-sport facilities, can operate indoors at 50 percent capacity, with a cap of 250 people (if outdoors, the cap is 500). Social gatherings of up to 15 people are permitted indoors and of up to 50 people if held outside. Individuals older than 2 must wear a face covering in public spaces, whether inside or outside, if social distancing cannot be maintained. Face masks are also required when using taxis, ride-hailing services or similar transportation options. Anyone arriving in Rhode Island for nonwork purposes from an area with a high community COVID-19 rate must self-quarantine for 10 days or obtain a negative coronavirus test after arrival. Vaccinated individuals are exempt, as long as they received their final dose 14 days before arrival.
• South Carolina: Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed an order that lifts a mask mandate for government buildings and restaurants. Face coverings are encouraged but no longer required. He encouraged restaurants to space tables 6 feet apart and limit parties to eight people if members are from different households. McMaster also lifted restrictions on large gatherings. He recommends limiting attendance to 50 percent of a venue’s capacity or 250 people. Masks are encouraged at large get-togethers but not required. Nonessential businesses can reopen; guidelines are recommended.
• South Dakota: Gov. Kristi Noem signed an order putting the state’s “Back to Normal” plan in effect. The plan encourages employers to sanitize high-traffic areas and screen employees for illness. Retail businesses should operate in a manner that promotes social distancing and should consider limiting the number of customers inside their stores. The plan also encourages, but doesn’t require, older adults and other vulnerable individuals to stay at home.
• Tennessee: Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed an order that gives local authorities permission to extend mask mandates. Lee has encouraged people to wear masks but stopped short of requiring them. Local authorities can issue a face mask requirement. Previously, Lee lifted many coronavirus-related restrictions for businesses and gatherings in 89 counties. The state’s other six counties are subject to the restrictions of their health departments. Effective Feb. 1, the governor lifted restrictions on youth sporting events. Effective Feb. 28, the health department lifted restrictions on long-term care facilities.
• Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order lifting the state’s mask mandate and allowing businesses of all types to open to 100 percent of capacity as of March 10. In counties with high hospitalization rates, a county judge may implement COVID-19-related restrictions, but businesses cannot be required to operate under 50 percent capacity and individuals can’t be penalized for not wearing face coverings, among other limitations. Businesses are still encouraged to follow state health recommendations when possible. Businesses can also still choose to implement sanitation protocols, require employees and customers to wear masks and adopt other coronavirus-related measures. The order encourages individuals to still wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained from people who are not members of their household.
• Utah: Under the direction of Gov. Spencer Cox (R), the health department updated COVID-19-related restrictions. Counties fall into a high, moderate or low transmission index. Counties designated as high are encouraged, but not required, to limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer. That number is 25 people for counties designated as moderate and 50 people for counties designated as low. All businesses can reopen if they take precautions. Restaurants in counties designated as high must require parties to maintain a 6-foot distance from one another. A statewide mask mandate remains in effect until April 10, 2021. Individuals over age 2 must wear a mask and socially distance from non-household members when in an indoor public setting. People over age 2 must also wear a mask when outdoors if within 6 feet of a person from another household. Masks aren’t required when an individual is actively eating or drinking, exercising outdoors or exercising indoors if not within 6 feet of a non-household member, among other exceptions.
• Vermont: Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced that he plans to fully reopen the state by July 4 if enough people are vaccinated. Under current restrictions, bars and clubs can reopen and must follow the same restrictions as restaurants. Restaurants can operate at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 outdoors. Parties cannot exceed six people per table, and in-person dining must close by 10 p.m. Hair salons and barbershops can reopen, but they must take appointments and limit occupancy. Restrictions on private social gatherings depend on whether individuals are vaccinated. Vaccinated individuals or households may gather together. If households or individuals are not fully vaccinated, social gatherings are limited to two households or individuals. Previously, Scott ordered everyone age 2 and older to wear a face covering in public spaces, indoors or outdoors, when physical distancing isn’t possible. All nonessential travelers must follow a self-quarantine mandate. Alternatively, nonessential travelers can quarantine for seven days, followed by a negative COVID-19 test. Travelers who have been vaccinated do not need to quarantine if 14 days have passed since their final dose.
• Virginia: Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed an order loosening capacity limits for gatherings and some events. Effective April 1, indoor social gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed (up from 10 people). Outdoor gatherings can expand to allow up to 100 people (up from 25 people). As of April 1, indoor sporting event venues may allow up to 100 spectators or 30 percent capacity (whichever is smaller). If outdoors, the cap is 500 spectators or 30 percent capacity (whichever is smaller). Previously, Northam signed an order permitting restaurants to offer indoor service at full capacity, but they must separate parties by 6 feet and stop serving alcohol at midnight. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gyms and fitness centers can operate at 75 percent capacity and follow other guidelines. Movie theaters, concert venues and other entertainment facilities can reopen but must follow strict guidelines. Under a mask mandate, all Virginians 5 and older are required to wear face coverings in indoor spaces shared by others; private residences are exempt. Individuals must also wear masks outside if social distancing cannot be maintained.
• Washington: Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced that all counties can move to Phase 3 of the state’s road to recovery plan. Indoor social gatherings are now allowed, with a maximum of 10 people from outside the household. Outdoor social gatherings are allowed, with a maximum of 50 people from outside the household. Restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, personal care services and similar indoor spaces can operate at 50 percent capacity. Restaurants must stop alcohol service by midnight, and parties cannot exceed 10 people. All sports competition and tournaments can resume. A mask mandate requires that individuals wear a face covering in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
• West Virginia: Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed an order that permits fairs, festivals and summer camps to resume operating on May 1. Under current restrictions, restaurants can offer indoor service at 100 percent capacity, with social distancing and other precautions in place. Justice lifted capacity restrictions on gyms, retail stores, museums and other small businesses, provided they follow safety and sanitation protocols. Social gatherings of up to 100 people are permitted. Religious services, weddings and events for essential businesses are among activities that are exempt. Individuals 9 and older must wear a face covering in all indoor public spaces even when social distancing can be maintained. The mandate doesn’t apply to people when they are alone in a room, or eating or drinking in a restaurant.
• Wisconsin: After the state legislature voted to repeal Gov. Tony Evers’ (D) mask mandate Feb. 4, Evers immediately issued a new one. Everyone age 5 and older must wear a face covering when indoors or in an enclosed space (other than his or her private residence) when other people are present. When outdoors, individuals are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks. Previously, Evers issued a stay-at-home order recommending — but not requiring — actions Wisconsinites should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Individuals should stay at home. Exceptions include leaving the house to go to work, buy groceries or pick up medications. Businesses should encourage remote work and take precautions where telecommuting isn’t possible, such as avoid congregating in conference rooms. For social gatherings, Evers recommended avoiding get-togethers with anyone outside the household.
In May, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state Department of Health Services’ safer-at-home order, issued under Evers’ direction. Private businesses can enforce their own restrictions, such as requiring patrons to follow social distancing practices.
• Wyoming: Under the direction of Gov. Mark Gordon (R), the state health officer amended restrictions on large indoor gatherings. Indoor events of more than 500 people cannot exceed 50 percent of the venue’s capacity. Gatherings at hotels, livestock auctions and faith-based organizations are among those that are exempt. Social distancing between individual groups must be maintained, and sanitation protocols must be in place. Even though Gordon lifted a statewide mask mandate on March 16, masks are still required at large indoor events with some exceptions, such as when eating or drinking. Restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters could resume normal business operations on March 16.