Tennessee Reopening: More businesses reopen in Gatlinburg; larger attractions allowed to reopen May 22

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — Gov. Bill Lee announced Friday that larger, non-contact attractions will be able to reopen their doors on or after May 22.

The Tennessee Economic Recovery Group said Friday it will lift capacity restrictions on restaurants and retail stores on May 22 and will issue guidelines for larger, non-contact attractions on or after May 22.

The new guidelines will apply to those businesses “that can effectively practice social distancing with strong measures to protect both employees and customers, including racetracks, amusement parks, waterparks, theaters and dinner theaters, auditoriums, large museums and more.”

Restrictions of social gathering of more than 10 people will still be in place.

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Because that announcement was made Friday, and those businesses aren’t allowed to reopen until May 22, many larger attractions in Gatlinburg remained closed this weekend.

Some have already reopened, such as the Gatlinburg Space Needle, different mountain coasters, old time photo shops, mini putt putt golfing, the Earthquake Ride and the Family Fun Parlor — to name a few.

However, Ripley’s Attractions, SkyLift Park, Anakeesta and Ober Gatlinburg remain closed.

Visitors can enjoy more restaurants and shopping as well, as several continue to reopen.

The City of Gatlinburg closed lanes on part of the parkway again this weekend to allow for social distancing.

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The city closed two outer lanes of the Parkway between traffic light No. 6 and Reagan Drive.

Pedestrians used the outer lanes and cars used the inner lanes.

Barricades were in place along with signs to remind people about precautions.

This change will ran from noon Friday through 2 p.m. Sunday.

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