States start to reopen, ending coronavirus lockdowns: Rules ease in parts of California and Pennsylvania on Friday; Michigan factories can reopen Monday
California, the biggest contributor to the U.S. economy, will start loosening its tight stay-home rules on Friday, but the measures are far less than what Florida, Texas and other states have done.
Parts of Pennsylvania also will open up on Friday. Manufacturing can resume in both Michigan and Kentucky on Monday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said some retailers will be able to offer curbside pickup on Friday. In-store sales still aren’t allowed. Warehouses also can reopen. Rules are tighter in the Bay area, where San Francisco curbside pickup from retailers could begin May 18.
The next round of modifications could allow inside dining at restaurants as well as shopping malls and offices to reopen, he said Thursday. Some counties with lower rates of infection may be able to open restaurants within a week. But it will take longer before hair and nail salons are allowed to reopen; Newsom said the state’s coronavirus outbreak began in a nail salon.
As more states begin allowing some businesses to reopen, what’s allowed continues to vary widely by state and still includes plenty of restrictions.
While some states, for example, are allowing hair salons to reopen under certain conditions, others say they remain closed. Many live concerts resume in Branson, Mo., on May 15, but bars generally remain closed across the country. And some governors are loosening rules to a greater degree in select parts of their states.
Schools generally remain closed, although some small schools in Montana can reopen on May 7. People are still encouraged to stay home when possible under newer “safer at home” orders. Social distancing remains a constant, and face masks are increasingly required in stores. Some states, including Florida, Texas, Arizona and Montana, continue to require self-quarantine for travelers and visitors for two weeks.
An impatient President Donald Trump has pushed governors to move quickly and has supported protesters in several state capitals calling for states to reopen despite the tens of thousands of deaths caused by the COVID-19 illness. Some states began loosening restrictions on businesses starting more than a week ago, and the federal government let its social-distancing guidelines expire at the end of April, citing the work of governors in their states.
The moves in California and Pennsylvania are relatively small steps compared to moves made in Florida, Ohio and Texas, other big drivers of the U.S. economy. Illinois, New York and New Jersey, other key, large-population states, still have most, if not all, restrictions on business activity in place.
Unemployment in April surged to 14.7% as 20.5 million lost their jobs that month alone, after the economy contracted at a 4.8% annualized pace in the first quarter. States generally only began shutting down parts of their economies in mid-March, and economists fear second-quarter data will be grimmer than the first-quarter figures have been.
In seven weeks since the virus shut down much of the U.S. economy, more than 33 million people have applied for unemployment benefits.
Here’s what some states have announced:
Pennsylvania: Retail stores in 24 counties in the northern and central parts of the state will be allowed to reopen on May 8. Child-care facilities in those counties, which will move to the “yellow” phase, also will be allowed to reopen, and in-person church services can resume. But hair and nail salons, among other businesses, must remain closed, and gatherings will be limited to 25 people. Neither Philadelphia nor Pittsburgh, the two largest economic hubs, are covered by the new rules.
Earlier, Gov. Tom Wolf said construction projects previously deemed nonessential could restart statewide on May 1.
California: Stores selling books, toys, sporting goods and flowers, among others, could begin reopening on May 8 with curbside pickup only.
Michigan: Manufacturers can reopen on May 11 after certain safety measures have been put in place. Real-estate showings have resumed. Garden stores, nurseries, and lawn care, pest control and landscaping operations have been allowed to reopen, subject to limits on the number of people allowed at one time. Big stores that sold garden supplies also have been allowed to resume selling them. Boating and golf also are allowed.
Kentucky: On May 11, manufacturing, construction and professional services can operate at 50% capacity; car and boat dealerships, pet groomers and horse racing without fans should be able resume. The target for allowing in-person services at houses of worship and the reopening of nonessential retail businesses is May 20, and barber shops and salons could reopen May 25.
Maryland: Hospitals and other health-care providers can resume elective and non-emergency procedures on May 7. Golf, tennis, fishing and hunting, boating, horseback riding and outdoor exercise classes will be allowed as well. Beaches and state parks will reopen for walking and exercise. Nonessential retail stores remain closed; no curbside pickup allowed.
Florida:Beginning May 4, restaurants in most parts of the state could resume sit-down service at 25% capacity indoors and with social distancing outdoors. Retailers can reopen at 25% capacity. Elective surgeries can resume. Hair salons and other personal services as well as gyms remain closed. The new rules don’t cover the state’s three most populous counties: Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Those are where most of the state’s COVID-19 illnesses have been.
Some beaches and parks have already reopened. In Jacksonville, for example, they are open from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Social distancing there is required, and groups can’t exceed 49 people. Key West beaches are among the latest to reopen but only to locals. In Miami-Dade County, parks, marina and golf courses reopened on April 29 with some restrictions (including masks), though some local parks remain closed.
Florida continues to require those coming from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Louisiana are to self-isolate or self-quarantine for 14 days.
Ohio: Offices, warehouses, manufacturers and construction companies were set to reopen May 4. Retailers and service businesses can open on May 12, and customers must wear face masks. All are subject to social-distancing rules. Dining in a restaurant remains off-limits. Hair and nail salons as well as gyms remain closed.
Missouri:Every business could reopen on May 4, though metro areas can impose stricter rules. There also will be no limit on the size of gatherings. With live events allowed, shows in Branson, a resort town in the southwest part of the state, will be back in business, although the state says social distancing is expected between families or individuals.
St. Louis and St. Louis County will begin to lift stay-at-home orders on May 18, but haven’t offered details.
Nebraska:Beginning May 4 in 59 of the state’s 93 counties and including Omaha, dine-in restaurant services can resume at 50% capacity, and groups will be limited to a maximum of six people. Hair and nail salons, barbershops, massage therapy and tattoo parlors can reopen that same day, and both workers and patrons must wear masks. Child-care facilities can reopen, also with limits. Rules affecting places of worship will be loosened. Rules affecting Lincoln, the state capital, don’t expire until May 6, and it’s unclear whether restrictions will be eased then.
Kansas: Dine-in restaurant service could resume on May 4 with tables of no more than 10 people and distancing between tables. Houses of worship will be allowed to hold services with more than 10 people, but with social distancing. Child-care facilities and libraries can operate. Bars may be allowed to open as early as May 18 at 50% capacity.
Indiana: Retail stores, including shopping malls, and any manufacturers that had been closed were allowed to reopen beginning May 4 in most of the state. Gatherings can be increased to 25 people. Size limits on religious services will be lifted on May 8. Restaurants can reopen for sit-down meals at 50% capacity on May 11, and hair salons also will be allowed to open then. The looser rules don’t apply to Marion County, which is home to Indianapolis, or Lake County in northwest Indiana near Chicago until May 11, and Cass County, where many of the state’s coronavirus cases have occurred and a pork processing plant was closed for more than a week, until May 18. Working from home continues to be encouraged.
The state could begin moving to the next phase of reopening on May 24. Gov. Eric Holcomb said he aims for businesses to be fully open on July 4 and conventions, sports events, fairs, festivals and the state fair to be allowed, all with social distancing. Face coverings would be optional.
New Hampshire: Elective medical procedures can gradually resume on May 4. Retailers can reopen May 11 at 50% capacity. Hair salons and barber shops also can reopen then, with certain restrictions. The same goes for golf courses. Restaurants can begin offering outdoor dining on May 18 with restrictions; seated indoor dining won’t be allowed.
Arizona: Retailers could offer curbside service as of May 4 and can open stores to customers on May 8. Gov. Doug Ducey has set a May 12 goal for restaurants to reopen. Two-week self-quarantine rules remain in effect for all those who arrive from an area with substantial community spread, including but not limited to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Washington:Public lands began reopening on a rolling basis starting May 5. All kinds of recreation will be allowed except camping. “Low-risk” construction projects can restart under conditions. State officials are working on guidance to allow retail curbside pickup, car sales, carwashes, landscaping and housecleaning services, and in-car worship services with one household per vehicle.
New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a limited reopening in that state could begin May 15.
Connecticut: The state aims to allow outdoor restaurant seating to resume on May 20. Hair and nail salons and retailers also would be allowed to reopen, as would outdoor areas in zoos and museums. Campsites also could reopen.
New Jersey:Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan has no firm timeline. He suggested restrictions could remain in place for weeks, although golf courses and state and county parks can reopen on May 2. However, playgrounds will remain closed and picnics and team sports won’t be allowed. The state’s latest stay-home order goes through June 5.
Texas: All retail stores, malls, restaurants, movie theaters, libraries and museums can reopen as of May 1 at 25% capacity. That could increase to 50% capacity on May 18. Outdoor sports like tennis and golf can resume with groups of no more than four people. Hair and nail salons are not yet allowed to open. Only essential workers will have access to child-care facilities, not retail and other workers.
Illinois: Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries were allowed to reopen on May 1; other retailers, including department stores, can offer curbside pickup and delivery. Elective surgeries can resume. Some parks are reopening, and boating with no more than two people, as well as golf, will be allowed. Parts of the state may be able to move to the next phase, which would allow nonessential businesses (including barber shops and salons) and manufacturers to reopen, on May 29.
Colorado:Business across much of the state, including hair and nail salons as well as dental and other elective medical services, could reopen on May 1 under certain conditions, though not in the Denver area. Nonessential business there remains closed through at least May 8, although most counties will allow curbside pickup from retailers. Real-estate agents were allowed to start showing homes again on April 27, though open houses are not allowed. Offices can reopen on May 4 with 50% of staff and with social distancing, although Gov. Jared Polis said people should continue working from home if possible. Face masks are still required, and group gatherings can’t exceed 10 people.
Maine: Barber shops, hair salons and pet groomers could reopen as of May 1, as can drive-in movie theaters, car dealers and outdoor recreation. Limited drive-in, stay-in-your-vehicle religious services are allowed. Restaurants remain closed. All those coming to the state must quarantine for 14 days.
Tennessee:Most businesses could reopen May 1. Restaurants were able to open for dine-in services at half-capacity starting April 27. Retail stores can open on April 29. Counties with their own health departments, which include those that are home to Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville, plan their own reopen strategies.
Alabama: All retail businesses were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity beginning May 1. Elective medical procedures can resume. Beaches are open. Nonwork gatherings of 10 or more people aren’t allowed. Barbershops and hair salons remain closed.
Oklahoma: Sit-down restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues and gyms were allowed to reopen on May 1 with social distancing. Places of worship can reopen for in-person services if they leave every other row or pew open. Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, pet groomers and spas were allowed to reopen earlier with social distancing, if they aren’t in communities with their own restrictions in place. State parks and outdoor recreation areas also can reopen.
Idaho: Almost all retail stores and houses of worship could open May 1. Day cares and youth events can restart as well. Bars, restaurant dining rooms, hair salons and indoor gyms stay closed.
Iowa: Restaurants, stores and shopping malls as well as some other businesses were allowed to reopen in 77 of the state’s 99 counties beginning May 1 but at no more than 50% capacity. Restaurants will be limited to tables of no more than six people, and all tables must be at least 6 feet apart. Among the counties that aren’t reopening are those home to the state’s largest cities, including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City and Iowa City.
Virginia:Nonemergency doctor visits were allowed to resume May 1.
Georgia: Gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors were allowed to reopen on April 24 with social-distancing and hygiene requirements. Hospitals can resume elective surgeries. On April 27, movie theaters were allowed to reopen, and restaurants can offer limited dine-in service. The plan has been met with skepticism within the state, as The Wall Street Journal reports, and Trump was unexpectedly critical of the Georgia plan.
Mississippi:Retail stores were allowed to reopen on April 27 with limits on the number of customers, but gyms, hair salons, tattoo parlors, movie theaters and casinos are among those that must stay closed. Restaurants can’t offer sit-down dining. Although places of worship aren’t covered by the state’s rules, Gov. Tate Reeves says he has asked pastors not to have in-church services.
South Carolina: Stores selling furniture, clothing, sporting goods, books and flowers, among other retail categories, as well as department stores and flea markets, were allowed to reopen on April 20 at no more than 20% capacity and with social distancing. Beaches followed on April 21. Local and county governments could still order closures.
Montana: The state’s reopening began on April 26 with churches, followed by retail stores a day later. Dine-in restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen on May 4 with 50% capacity.
Alaska:Sit-down restaurant meals have been allowed to resume, but only with tables comprising members of a single household and only with a reservation. Restaurants can be only 25% full, among other rules. Restaurants in Anchorage must keep a log of customers to help with any future contact tracing, among other rules. Indoor and outdoor gatherings, which include religious services, are limited to 20 people, or 25% of a building’s capacity. Retail stores can reopen, but with a limit of 20 people or 25% of capacity at a time, and only one adult from a household can enter at a time. Hair salons, barber shops and nail salons are allowed to reopen as well, also with social distancing.
Vermont:Crews of no more than two could resume outdoor work and construction in unoccupied buildings beginning April 20. Retailers could reopen with curbside pickup and delivery services.