Full details on what’s allowed (and restricted) under Inslee’s stay-at-home order
Mar 24, 2020, 7:37 AM | Updated: Mar 26, 2020, 5:47 am
(Office of the Governor)
With Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order now in effect, we broke down what that means for residents and businesses in Washington state.
After initial confusion over what defines an “essential” business, the state launched a website providing clarification that you can access here.
While Washingtonians are being asked not to venture outside for the most part, there are still a handful of things that are allowed.
- Going outside for a walk or bike ride, provided you remain six feet away from others, and maintain proper social distancing.
- Going to work anywhere categorized as an “essential” business — that includes medical professions, news media, certain construction projects, restaurants, grocery or convenience store workers, pharmacists, bankers, and more. You can see the full list of essential businesses as laid out by Gov. Inslee’s office here.
- Leaving your home to buy groceries, or “products necessary to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance” of your residence.
- Going to an in-person medical appointment.
- Picking up a takeout order from any restaurant still open (delivery service is still available as well).
- Providing assistance, transportation, or care to a family member or friend in another residence.
- Caring for a pet in another residence.
There is also an exception for victims of domestic violence who feel their home has become an unsafe environment. According to Gov. Inslee’s proclamation, “these individuals are permitted and urged to leave their homes or residences and stay at a safe alternate location.”
Anyone experiencing homelessness is “urged to obtain shelter,” while local governments are “strongly encouraged to make such shelter available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable.”
The list of activities and businesses in Washington that have now been banned or closed entirely includes:
- Multi-person activities for social, spiritual, and recreational purposes
- Any retail outlet that doesn’t fall under the list of essential businesses
- Sporting events
- Festivals and concerts
- Nail salons
- Tattoo parlors
- Dine-in service at restaurants or bars
Non-essential businesses have until midnight on March 25 to cease operations. Businesses where employees are able to work entirely from home are permitted to continue operating.
If residents and businesses do not comply with this order, Inslee has promised to “discuss possible enforcement mechanisms in the coming days.” That being so, for the time being, local and state police will not be asked to enforce it, outside of dispersing large gatherings.
Gov. Inslee’s stay-at-home directive will remain in effect through April 6, 2020, but it could be extended beyond that if need be.