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WA moves to Phase 3 on March 22

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On March 11, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that every county in Washington state will be able to move to Phase 3 of the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery Plan starting March 22.

What does this mean for hospitality? In Phase 3:

  • Indoor dining can increase to 50% capacity
  • Alcohol service cutoff moves back to midnight
  • Event facilities with permanent seating can allow 25% capacity for spectators who are physically distanced and wearing masks; 50% occupancy is allowed for indoor spaces (such as restaurants, bars, fitness centers and movie theaters) and 400 people maximum for indoor/outdoor gatherings (including concerts)

Note: The entire state will remain in Phase 2 until March 22.

On March 17, the guidance for eating and drinking establishments was updated to include Phase 3 requirements. Please review the updated guidance here. Guidance for Phase 3 for other activities, such as indoor entertainment, bowling, pools and fitness centers, have not yet been released by the Governor’s Office. We will update our members as they become available.

Going forward, reopening phases will move from a regional approach to a county-by-county evaluation process. Counties that fail to meet specific metrics will be moved back a phase. Learn more about the metrics system that guides phase movement here.

Reminder: In Phase 2, there is an easing of restrictions, allowing indoor dining at 25% occupancy. Fitness centers open at 25% capacity and the size of wedding and funeral attendance increases. Find the latest guidance for restaurants, taverns, wineries, distilleries and breweries here. If you operate a bowling alley, here are your guidelines.

You can also follow the Open-Air Dining Guidance.

From our CEO

In response to today’s announcement, Washington Hospitality Association President and CEO Anthony Anton said:

“We celebrate today’s announcement by the governor that restaurants can open to 50% indoor capacity — this will benefit both the health of our state and of our industry. Since restaurants have been opened in our state, cases have continued to drop. This is a testament to our rigorous safety standards and practices, which are among the most strict in the nation. We know from extensive data from other states that reopening at 50% indoor capacity is the safest option, and we are confident that cases will continue to drop in our state. We look forward to continuing to provide a safe, highly regulated place for people to gather and help stop the spread of COVID-19. And we ask that you do your part to keep our team members healthy: Our restaurant and hospitality workers have been essential throughout the pandemic, yet will not have access to the vaccine along with other essential workers. We are working to correct this and hope we can find a solution quickly.”