New Social Distancing rules impact numerous business types

As more local residents self-quarantine or stay home to work or be with their children as schools are closed, the options for entertainment and social activities continue to be impacted.

In his press conference Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a statewide closure of entertainment, leisure and non-essential services and restrictions on gatherings.

“If we are living a normal life, we are not doing our jobs as Washingtonians,” Inslee said. “We cannot do that anymore. We need to make changes, regardless of size. All of us need to do more. We must limit the number of people we come in contact with. This is the new normal.”

In his emergency proclamation, a number of businesses were banned from operation for two weeks.

The ban includes, but is not limited to:

  • Theaters
  • Bowling alleys
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Non-tribal card rooms
  • Museums
  • Art galleries
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Barbers, hair salons and nail salons. 

Some retail stores can remain open during the emergency, although they are required to meet new criteria.

Businesses are expected to ensure adequate environmental cleaning of stores and must designate an employee or officer to implement a social distancing plan for their business.

“The supply chain is strong,” Inslee said. “Grocery stores will continue operating and providing services to Washingtonians. There is no need to hoard food or supplies. Everyone needs to only buy what they need, and they need to remember when they overbuy, those things are taken away from their neighbors and others who need them now.”

Despite the location, a statewide ban also restricts gatherings of 50 or larger. On Monday, President Trump indicated federal recommendations to move that limit down to 10.

On Friday of last week, Inslee expanded a ban on events larger than 250 beyond the Puget Sound region to the entire state, tightening those restrictions yesterday. 

Additionally, all gatherings with under 50 participants are prohibited unless criteria from the CDC for public health and social distancing are met.

“I am proud of how Washingtonians have stepped up and worked together,” Inslee said. “I know we still have long days ahead, but I know that together we will prevail and be a stronger state as a result. We will get through this together and life will return to normal, but the steps we are taking now will help us get back to normal sooner.

”I ask everyone to take these steps to protect themselves, their families and their communities. Everyone needs to play their part. “