Tennessee Coronavirus: Looser rules coming for restaurants, retail stores and larger attractions

Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ()WATE) – 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.

New Tennessee Pledge guidelines will be released early next week, according to a state news release.

Six counties – Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan – may continue to follow individual, county-specific reopening plans created in consultation with State and local health departments.

RELATED: Cases up by just 1.6% and deaths by 1% on Friday

“Tennesseans have worked incredibly hard to do their part and help slow the spread of COVID-19 so that our state can begin to reopen,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “Thanks to their continued efforts, we’re able to allow restaurants and retail businesses to operate at greater capacity and large attractions to open in a safe and thoughtful way,

“Our state continues to see downward trends in case growth and meets the White House criteria for a phased reopening. This progress has been hard-won, and we can build upon it by reopening while also maintaining common-sense safety measures like mask-wearing and good hygiene. By taking the Tennessee Pledge, our businesses can reopen in a way that protects the health of their customers and employees, and protects the livelihoods of hard-working Tennesseans.”

The new Large Attractions guidance applies 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, according to the news release.

Restrictions on social gatherings of more than 10 people remain in place for the time being. Updates to Restaurant Guidance will include a lift on capacity restrictions, allowing for increased service as long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to, including 6 feet between tables, the state said.

FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee answers questions concerning the state’s response to the coronavirus during a news conference in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee abortion providers are asking a federal judge to order that abortions can go forward despite an executive order from Gov. Lee aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Their lawyers argue in a motion filed on Monday, April 13, 2020, that Lee’s order blocking “nonemergency healthcare procedures” should not apply to abortions. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

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