A handful states are allowing nonessential businesses to open for the first time in weeks.
President Donald Trump has indicated many states can reopen by May 1, and shared federal guidelines for restarting the economy with governors, however, many governors are planning their own particular return.
Georgia, for example, already allowed businesses including gyms and hair salons to reopen on Friday. It is also extending that privilege to movie theaters and restaurants for dine-in service today. Tennessee is also letting people eat at restaurants today, and retail stores can open on Wednesday. In Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he plans to open specific businesses over the next few weeks. If those openings go well, social distancing protocols continue to be adhered to and the number of Covid-19 cases doesn’t go up, the state will open up even more businesses on May 4. For California, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order on March 19 that has no set end date, however, the state will begin allowing scheduled surgeries. In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz says he will allow some businesses to reopen, beginning April 27. This will allow 80,000 to 100,000 people in the industrial, manufacturing and office settings to go back to work. States including Montana and Colorado are kicking off phased reopenings Monday, while stay-at-home restrictions expire for several other states this Thursday, April 30. Starting next Monday, “Almost every business in the state of Missouri will be able to open their doors,” the governor said.
Click here to see the latest on where states stand in their plans to reopen, according to CNN.
- At least six feet in between tables and bar seats
- 10 patrons per 500 sq. ft. of space
- No more than six people per party, no presetting of tables, and no salad bar
Is this…a good idea?
On the one hand you have an economy that’s deteriorating at a thunderous pace. 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment claims in the last five weeks, wiping out all of the job gains since the Great Recession. Business lobbying groups and some lawmakers are desperate to get people back to work.
Others, including many public health experts and big-city mayors, say these reopening plans are dangerous, arguing states don’t yet have the testing or contact tracing capabilities to prevent further outbreaks. Those outbreaks could force more shutdowns, so we end up in a maddening revolving door of self-isolation.
The big, final question: If you reopen, will they come? It’s not clear whether a nervous public—given the opportunity—will resume going to restaurants, bars, and gyms. This week will tell us a lot.