LOCAL NEWS

Gov. Inslee extends statewide restrictions, ban on indoor dining to Jan. 11

Dec 30, 2020, 10:46 AM | Updated: Dec 31, 2020, 6:58 am
capital gains tax, Inslee, ban...
Gov. Inslee on Dec. 17, 2020. (TVW)
(TVW)

Gov. Jay Inslee announced a one-week extension of the “Stay Safe–Stay Healthy” proclamation, along with the statewide restrictions currently in place, which includes a ban on indoor gatherings and dining.

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The ban was originally set to expire on Jan. 4 and now expires on Jan. 11, 2021.

“Our consistent mission has been keeping Washingtonians safe and ensuring health care system and hospital capacity,” Inslee said in a news release. “We understand the profound impact COVID is having on our healthcare system, families and businesses, but I am heartened by the number of Washingtonians who continue to do the right thing. If we continue distancing from others, wearing facial coverings and avoiding social gatherings, we will make it to the other side of this pandemic together.”

Inslee said no changes were made to the proclamation besides the expiration date.

“When the governor substantially shut down the hospitality industry in November, he indicated cases would level off and we expected to see a detailed path to reopening. Seven weeks later, neither of those things are true,” Anthony Anton, President and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association, said in a news release shortly after Inslee’s update. “Hospitality operators are falling deeper in the red, hospitality workers remain out of work, businesses are closing, and household bills are going unpaid.”

The governor first announced the proclamation on Nov. 15. He extended it to Jan. 4 in a news conference on Dec. 8, as it was originally set to expire on Dec. 14.

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As part of the restrictions, indoor social gatherings with people from outside your household are still prohibited. Outdoor social gatherings should be limited to five people from outside your household. Restaurants and bars will remain closed for indoor service, but to-go service is permitted, as is outdoor dining with restrictions to include adequate spacing, enhanced cleaning, and capacity limits.

Fitness facilities and gyms are also closed for indoor operations. In-store retail, including grocery stores, is limited to 25% indoor occupancy and any common or congregate non-food related seating areas must be closed.

Also in effect is a travel advisory, which asks travelers to Washington to quarantine for 14 days. This advisory was made in partnership with the governors of Oregon and California.

The advisory encompasses any travelers arriving in Washington from out of the state or country, “including returning Washington residents.” This does not apply to anyone who crosses state or international borders for “essential travel.”

What’s allowed under Gov. Inslee’s ‘Safe Start’ plan

The latest rules on indoor gatherings, enacted on Nov. 15, are as follows:

  • Indoor social gatherings with people from outside your household are prohibited.
  • Outdoor social gatherings should be limited to 5 people from outside your household.
  • Restaurants and bars are closed for indoor service. Outdoor dining and to-go service is permitted. Outdoor dining must follow the outdoor dining restriction. Table size limited to 5 for outdoor dining. These restaurant restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 18.
  • Fitness facilities and gyms are closed for indoor operations. Outdoor fitness classes may still occur but they are limited by the outdoor gathering restriction listed above. Drop off childcare closed.
  • Bowling Centers are closed for indoor service.
  • Miscellaneous Venues: All retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely is allowed. Occupancy in each meeting room is limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Movie Theaters are closed for indoor service. Drive-in movie theaters are still permitted and must follow the current drive-in movie theater guidance.
  • Museums/Zoos/Aquariums are closed for indoor service.
  • Real Estate open houses are prohibited.
  • Wedding and Funerals receptions are prohibited. Ceremonies are limited to no more than 30 people.
  • In-store retail limited to 25% indoor occupancy and must close any common/congregate non-food related seating areas. Food court indoor seating is closed.
  • Religious services limited to 25% indoor occupancy no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. No choir, band, or ensemble shall perform during the service. Soloists are permitted to perform. Facial coverings must be worn at all times by congregation members and no congregational singing.
  • Professional Services are required to mandate that employees work from home when possible, and to close offices to the public. If they remain open, occupancy is restricted to 25%.
  • Personal services are limited to 25% of maximum occupancy.
  • Long-term Care Facilities outdoor visits only. Exceptions can be made for essential support person and end-of-life care.
  • Youth (school and non-school) and adult sporting activities limited to outdoor only for intrateam practices, masks required for athletes.

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Gov. Inslee extends statewide restrictions, ban on indoor dining to Jan. 11