New restrictions taking effect tonight

By: Markham McIntyre Posted: 11/16/2020

Economic recovery depends on getting the virus under control and the virus is spreading at a dangerous level in our community.

Tonight, many of the new restrictions that Governor Jay Inslee announced on Sunday take effect, with the exception of restrictions for restaurants, which take effect tomorrow night at midnight.

These restrictions come after we have seen explosive growth in daily cases and hospitalizations. We know that economic recovery depends on getting the virus under control – and at this point in time, the virus is spreading at a dangerous level in our community.

The restrictions below will be in place through Monday, December 14. Activities not included in the modified restrictions should follow current guidance. All K-12/higher education, childcare, and courts and court-related proceedings are exempt from the new restrictions. Additionally, please note that these modified restrictions do not change what is classified as an essential business.

These restrictions include:

  • Limits on gatherings. Outdoor gatherings are now limited to 5 people from outside of your household, and indoor gatherings with people outside of your household are prohibited unless you have followed rigorous quarantine protocols for two weeks, or for one week with a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours.
  • Restaurants and bars: Indoor service is prohibited. Outdoor dining is still allowed for parties of 5 or fewer, as well as to-go service.
  • Fitness facilities and gyms: Indoor activities are prohibited.
  • Bowling alleys, movie theaters, museums, zoos and aquariums: Indoor activities are prohibited
  • Retail: Indoor occupancy is limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy. Retailers must close common/congregate seating areas and indoor dining facilities such as food courts.
  • Weddings and funerals: No more than 30 people are allowed at ceremonies. Receptions are prohibited.
  • Personal services (salons, barbershops, etc.): Indoor occupancy limited to 25%.
  • Professional services: Employees must work from home when possible and employers must close offices to the public if possible. Any office that must remain open must limit occupancy to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits.
  • Real estate: Open houses are prohibited.
  • Religious services: Indoor occupancy must be limited to 25%, or no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer, and congregation members must always wear face coverings.
  • Long-term care facilities: Outdoor visits are permitted, indoor visits are prohibited except for essential support or end-of-life visits.
  • Sporting activities: limited to outdoor-only for intra-team practices and athletes must wear masks.
  • Convention/conference centers, designated meeting spaces in a hotel, events centers, fairgrounds, sporting arenas, nonprofit establishment, or a substantially similar venue

You can see full details of the restrictions here.

We are your business advocate, and as the economic consequences from the pandemic continue, we are pressing for more aid at every level of government, especially during this stage when businesses have to restrict activities. Our advocacy includes urging Governor Inslee to make more funding available to businesses, and we are encouraged by the $50 million commitment he made in his remarks yesterday. We are also urging our public officials to recognize the fragile state of our economy as they consider policy proposals that affect business costs. Many businesses are struggling to survive at best due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

We also stand with state, regional, and local leaders in urging Congress to take action on a broad federal relief package now that includes assistance for small businesses as well as for state and local governments. Businesses and their workers are going into this third wave without many of the programs that Congress authorized earlier this year – programs that helped many businesses weather the earlier restrictions to slow the spread of the virus.