Changes Coming to the “Safe Start” Plan

To curb rising COVID-19 cases, changes coming to the “Safe Start” Plan

Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman announced changes to “Safe Start,” Washington’s phased approach to reopening. The changes target activities that data have shown provide a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. In an attempt to curb rising case numbers, the governor and secretary are changing guidance and regulations around restaurants, bars, and fitness centers, as well as weddings and funerals.  To learn more about rollbacks visit here.

Weddings and funerals

Ceremonies will remain permitted, but receptions are prohibited. Ceremonies must adhere to current guidance; for all phases, maximum indoor occupancy is 20%, or up to 30 people, whichever is less, as long as social distancing can be observed.  These changes take effect on August 6, 2020.

Restaurants and Bars

Indoor dining is limited to household members. Outdoor dining and take-away remains available for small parties from different households.  Restaurants must also close gaming and social areas, such as pool tables, dart boards and video games. Bars will be closed for indoor service, but can continue outdoor service. Alcohol service inside of restaurants must end by 10 p.m. These changes take effect on July 30, 2020.

Gyms and Fitness Centers

In Phase 2, only five individuals — not including staff — will be allowed for indoor fitness services at a time. This includes gyms, fitness studios, and indoor pools, ice rinks, volleyball courts, and tennis facilities. These are limited to small group instruction or private training. These changes take effect on July 30, 2020.

Face coverings

Face coverings are required in all common spaces, such as elevators, hallways and shared spaces in apartment buildings, university housing and hotels, as well as congregate setting such as nursing homes.

Eviction moratorium extension Governor Inslee also announced an extension of the state’s eviction moratorium to Oct. 15. Details on the extension will be released in the coming days.