New COVID-19 restrictions ban indoor dining and gatherings and close gyms

This week, new coronavirus restrictions go into place that will ban indoor dining, close gyms, and prohibit all indoor gatherings with people outside your immediate household.

Gov. Jay Inslee outlined the new COVID-19 response plan in a Sunday morning press conference, saying the statewide restrictions would start at 11:59pm, Monday, Nov. 16 and remain in effect until Monday, Dec. 14. However, restaurants will have until Tuesday at midnight to adjust to the changes.

The restrictions are statewide and will take effect Monday, November 16 at 11:59 PM and will remain in effect until Monday, December 14. The modified restrictions of restaurants, however, will take effect Wednesday, November 18 at 12:01 AM.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

Restaurants and retail

All indoor dining will be prohibited, but restaurants and bars may offer to-go and outdoor service to parties of five people or less. Retail, grocery stores, and personal services such as hair salons will be limited to 25 percent capacity.

Ban on indoor gatherings

Because indoor gatherings are one of the biggest contributors to the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Inslee announced that indoor gatherings must be limited to immediate households. Visitors outside the household must quarantine for two weeks prior to the gathering, or quarantine for seven days and receive a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 48 hours before the gathering.

Outdoor gatherings must be five people or less, and for long-term care facilities, only outdoor visits will be permitted.

Gyms and entertainment

Gyms will be required to close all indoor services, and sporting activities must be outdoors-only and with facial coverings. All bowling alleys, museums, zoos, aquariums, and movie theaters will be closed.

Religious services

All religious services will be limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits, or no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. Congregation members/attendees must wear facial coverings at all times and singing is prohibited. No choir, band, or ensemble will be allowed to perform during the service, but vocal or instrumental soloists are permitted to perform with a single accompanist. Outdoor religious services must follow the outdoor dining rules applicable to the structure or facility.

For more information about the restrictions, here’s the full COVID-19 guidance.

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