LOCAL NEWS

Washington is now in Phase 3 of reopening — here’s what that means

Mar 22, 2021, 5:15 AM | Updated: 10:24 am
Seattle Washington reopening, Phase 3, herd immunity, Phase 2, delta variant...
A mural in Seattle's Capitol hill neighborhood. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

As of Monday, all of Washington state has now moved into Phase 3 of reopening, affording restaurants and other indoor spaces more flexibility with looser restrictions.

Gov. Inslee announces Phase 3 guidelines, reopening of sports

Governor Inslee announced the specifics of the much-anticipated Phase 3 of the Healthy Washington recovery plan in early March.

Phase 3 allows up to 50% occupancy for indoor spaces, such as restaurants, retails, gyms and fitness centers, and movie theaters, and up to 400 people for indoor and outdoor activities, as long as physical distancing and masking are enforced.

While remote work is still “strongly encouraged” wherever it’s possible, companies will be able to bring employees back at 50% capacity.

On the professional sports side, this means the Mariners will get to welcome back a limited number of fans in person on Opening Day.

Outdoor events at facilities with permanent seating can have also up to 25% capacity for fans who physically distance and wear masks. That includes high school and youth sports, motorsports, rodeos, and other similar outdoor spectator events.

In Phase 3, indoor theater and performing arts venues can continue to host shows, provided they have assigned seating, with individual groups of up to 15 people (provided they’re from a maximum of two households). Artists on stage must be distanced from the audience by at least 20 feet, with a three-hour time limit on all performances in Phase 3.

The caveat is that dancing is prohibited, severely limiting the ability of nightclubs to function in any sort of traditional way.

Gov. Inslee’s office did clarify that nightclubs could reopen “if they can reconfigure their business operations” to comply with the state’s “Eating and Drinking Establishment” guidance. That would make it so clubs would be limited to table seating of no more than six people each, spaced out six feet apart. Alcohol service would have to end at midnight, and standing and dancing would still be prohibited.

Washington nightlife remains in reopening holding pattern

Outdoor venues like the iconic Gorge Amphitheatre are similarly limited in their ability to reopen, with the state’s rules regarding outdoor events requiring “permanent, individual designated seating.” Under Phase 3, “open, unreserved seating” for outdoor venues is still not permitted. Barring the installation of that seating, the Gorge “would not be allowed to reopen” under the state’s current guidance.

Live musical performances without permanent seating do have one potential avenue to resume, though, with drive-in concerts permitted in Washington, provided they adhere to guidance laid out for drive-in theaters and outdoor performing arts.

KIRO Radio reporter Hanna Scott contributed to this story

Local News

unemployment benefits...
Nicole Jennings

People quitting over vax mandate may qualify for unemployment benefits

Do people quitting their jobs over the vaccine mandate qualify for unemployment benefits? That all depends on a certain set of circumstances.
19 hours ago
covid memorial...
MyNorthwest Staff

King County councilmember proposes memorial for lives lost to COVID

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn is proposing the creation of a public art memorial to honor those who lost their lives to COVID-19. 
19 hours ago
shakeout...
Kathryn Altena

Washington to participate in Great ShakeOut earthquake drill for 10th year

At 10:21 a.m. on Oct. 21 will be the annual Great ShakeOut earthquake and tsunami drill in Washington. Practice how you would drop, cover, and hold on.
19 hours ago
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. 
19 hours ago
superstorm...
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.
19 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.
19 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.
...
Comcast

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.
Washington is now in Phase 3 of reopening — here’s what that means