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Washington Hospitality Association calls on Gov. Inslee to fully open state by June 15

Outdoor seating at a cafe in Seattle, set up during the COVID-19 pandemic. (MyNorthwest photo)

The head of the Washington Hospitality Association is pushing for the state to fully reopen by June 15.

“Let’s set a date: June 15th, it’s time to fully reopen. Let’s do it by June 15th,” said Anthony Anton, the president of the association.

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Anton says June 15 is the same day as California’s promised full reopening, and it’s a date far enough away that he thinks it will give people plenty of time to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Governors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have announced they further ease capacity restrictions on May 19.

While he said he is pleased that the governor decided to pause COVID-19 restrictions and rollbacks, he would like to see a plan for moving forward. The association launched a petition, which has about 4,000 signatures as of Friday.

“We do appreciate that we were able to keep the majority of our counties at 50% for Mother’s Day, and not close some of the counties that were on the edge,” Anton said.

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The governor did consult with Anton on the addition of vaccinated only sections, and while Anton says restaurants declined that option, hotels and event spaces are still considering it.

“On the lodging side and the event side, there is a conversation going on and it’s a logistics conversation of it’s an interesting concept but we’re not sure how it’s going to work,” he said.

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