Bowser Starts Phase 1 Opening May 29, Calls It ‘Stay at Home Light’

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Outside dining — as seen in this pre-COVID image of Tony and Joe's Seafood Place — will look a little different but it will be welcomed back on Friday, May 29. Courtesy Tony and Joe's.

Yes, starting tomorrow, Friday, May 29, outdoor seating will be allowed at restaurants and some retail shops will be open for front-door pickup.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a May 27 press conference that Washington, D.C., would begin its Stage One or Phase One reopening Friday; she revoked her stay-at-home order for city residents.

“I call it stay-at-home light,” Bowser said. “It means the stay-at-home order has been lifted and some activities have been added back to what we can do, but they are minimal.”

The decision to end the stay-at-home order, which began in March, was dependent on D.C. seeing a 14-day decrease in community spread of COVID-19 — which has been achieved.

“The Public Health Emergency is still in effect and gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited,” according to D.C. government.

This first phase also requires masks or face coverings, social distancing of at least six feet and frequent handwashing.

During Phase One, according to D.C. government, “Nonessential retail businesses may open to customers for (a.) Outdoor pickup by customers of items ordered online or over the phone; (b.) Delivery of items ordered online or over the phone; (c.) Indoor shopping and indoor pickup of items continues to be prohibited at nonessential retail businesses; and (d.) Minimum Basic Operations of nonessential retail businesses may continue.”

For licensed food establishments, the District says: “In addition to providing takeout, delivery, and ‘grab and go,’ restaurants and other licensed food establishments may open for outdoor dining. Taverns, nightclubs and mixed-use facilities that serve food, and that are already approved to provide such outdoor service by ABRA, may also operate outdoor dining.

“Outdoor dining must occur in areas approved by the District Department of Transportation and ABRA and include the following minimum safeguards:a. All outdoor dining customers must be seated, place orders, and be served at tables; b. No more than six individuals may be seated at a table or a joined table; c. All tables serving separate parties must be at least six feet apart; and d. All restaurants must implement sanitization and disinfection protocols.”

As for barbershops and hair salons: “Services may be provided by appointment only and these businesses are encouraged to keep customer information related to these appointments, including which barber or stylist saw which customer, for use by contact tracers should that become necessary. No waiting inside the shop is permitted; in the shop there may be one customer per barber or stylist.

“The limited opening of barbershops and hair salons in Phase One does not yet authorize services such as waxing, electrolysis, threading, and nail care at such shops.

“Barbershops and hair salons may sell hair-related products to customers immediately before or after appointments, but otherwise may only sell products on a delivery or curbside-pickup basis. Open customer stations of all types must be at least six feet from each other.”

Also in the mayor’s order: “The Department of Parks and Recreation is authorized to reopen parks, dog parks, tennis courts, tracks, and fields. Playgrounds, public pools, recreation centers, and indoor facilities remain closed.”

What’s not in Phase One? According to the order, “nonessential businesses that remain closed except for minimum business operations, curbside pickup or delivery, or home-based services include: fitness establishments (gyms; health clubs; spas; massage parlors; workout studios); tanning, tattoo, waxing, electrolysis, cryotherapy, facials, and nail salons; sporting venues; bowling alleys, skating rinks and gaming arcades; gymnastics, yoga, and dance studios; sauna and hot-tub showrooms or facilities; rock climbing centers; indoor racquet and squash courts; cigar and hookah bars and head shops; jewelry and watch stores; clothing stores; cosmetics stores; mattress stores; party supply stores; florists; gift, pen, and award shops; card/stationery stores; photography studios; toy stores; book stores; candle shops; sunglasses shops; home goods stores; pottery making or glassblowing workshops; party venues; frame stores; camping, skiing and other outdoor gear stores; weigh-in/weight loss centers and vitamin/supplement stores; tasting rooms and cooking demonstration facilities; theaters, cinemas and auditoriums; museums and galleries; bars, nightclubs, mixed- use facilities and private social clubs, except those licensed to serve food and permitted by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration; travel agencies; test preparation/tutoring centers; and professional services other than those provided to essential businesses and grant making.”

For more details, visit coronavirus.dc.gov/phaseone.

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