Gov. Inslee lays out plan to close Washington restaurants, bars

Mar 16, 2020, 10:33 AM | Updated: 12:29 pm

Gov. Jay Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine provided details on the state’s plan to temporarily close all restaurants, bars, and recreational facilities in Washington state.

Rantz: Jay Inslee leads from behind with restaurant closures

“Never since World War II have we faced a situation like this,” said Inslee.

Restaurants will still be able to provide takeout, drive-thru, and delivery service. Food service on college campuses will also continue to operate, but only in a takeout capacity — dining halls will close, with students being directed to eat in their rooms.

Additionally, all gatherings over 50 people will be prohibited, while gatherings under 50 people will need to meet strict criteria for hygiene and social distancing.

These closures also apply to: Coffee shops, doughnut shops, salons, barbers, tattoo parlors, movie theaters, performance theaters, bowling alleys, gyms, museums, art galleries, and youth sports among other activities.

These new rules will not apply to grocery stores or pharmacies. Essential retail outlets like hardware stores, convenience stores, gas stations, banks, and shopping centers can also remain open, provided they enforce reduced occupancy.

Retail locations that remain open must also designate a social distancing officer among employees to ensure guidelines are being met.

“All of us have to recognize for the next several weeks, normal is not in our game plan,” said Gov. Inslee. “In the days to come, we will do everything we can to minimize and mitigate these challenges. We are doing this for a simple reason: To save lives of our loved ones in Washington.”

Health officials estimate that without proper social distancing measures, coronavirus infections in Washington would double every five to seven days.

“This is the only weapon available to us right now,” Inslee noted.

Sawant pushes Amazon tax to raise $500 million for coronavirus relief

“The unprecedented health threat that COVID-19 presents requires unprecedented action,” said Seattle-King County Health’s Jeff Duchin in Monday’s press conference.

Any restaurants, bars, or recreational facilities violating this order will be subject to legal action. That said, Inslee stated a desire to have people follow the new guidelines out of a feeling of duty.

“We need to rely on our love for each other much more than our fear of the law at this moment,” he said.

On the delivery side, GrubHub is opting to defer its commission fees for “impacted independent restaurants.” The popular food delivery service hopes the measure will provide relief for restaurants struggling to stay afloat as these measures take effect.

Inslee also urged Washington residents over 70 years old to self-isolate immediately, as the demographic most at risk of severe infection from coronavirus.

Local News

King County Metro...
Nick Bowman

King County reports 97% compliance with worker vaccine mandate

King County reported Tuesday that 97% of its employees have submitted paperwork in compliance with its vaccine mandate; 92% are fully vaccinated. 
15 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Heavy rain, wind from tropical ‘superstorm’ headed to Northwest

A cyclone that began as a tropical superstorm is expected to reach waters off the coast of Washington state on Thursday.
15 hours ago
City Hall Park Seattle...
Nick Bowman

King County Council to forge ahead on bid to acquire troubled City Hall Park

King County Councilmembers voted 7-2 on Tuesday to approve legislation to explore options to assume control over Seattle's City Hall Park.
15 hours ago
Bomb squad, Kitsap...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Bomb squad dismantles explosive device in Silverdale

The Washington State Patrol bomb squad has dismantled an explosive device found in a Silverdale parking lot.
15 hours ago
Nick Rolovich...
Nick Bowman

Former WSU football coach Nick Rolovich to file lawsuit after getting fired over vaccine mandate

Former WSU head football coach Nick Rolovich will be filing a lawsuit this week, after he was terminated for not complying with a state vaccine mandate.
15 hours ago
Madrona closure...
MyNorthwest Staff

Madrona school temporarily shifts to remote learning over COVID outbreak

Madrona K-8 will be temporarily switching to remote learning, over a COVID outbreak that has nearly a quarter of the school's students quarantined. 
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Gov. Inslee lays out plan to close Washington restaurants, bars