Phase 3 Transition Loosens Restaurant Restrictions

Phase 3 Transition Loosens Restaurant Restrictions

Sophie Drees, Staff Writer

      Governor Jay Inslee announced Phase 3 going into effect in Washington on March 22nd, many businesses and restaurants are planning on allowing a higher capacity of people into buildings with new guidelines also being put in place.

      Many restaurants and fast-food chains in Washington are now allowed 50 percent capacity for indoor dining following the announcement of Phase 3. For some places, this will be the first time opening back up for indoor dining since the pandemic started. Many businesses are planning to open inside dining soon, but are keeping note of the amount of COVID-19 cases to see whether they should really open up for in-person dining. 

     “Open for inside dining starting anywhere from April 19th or June,” said Nathan Drees, a worker at a local Chick-fil-a, “We also will have to constantly clean.” Places with outdoor dining cannot have more than ten people seated at a single table. Several professional services are strongly encouraged to stay remote but otherwise are allowed to have 50 percent capacity as well. Retail stores are also allowed to have 50 percent capacity instead of just 25 percent, but curbside pickup is encouraged. 

     Families can also start having larger gatherings now. What used to be only five people allowed inside a home for gatherings at once, has turned into 10 people max. Outdoor events are now allowed to have a max of 50 people present instead of just 15. The start of Phase 3 in Washington means a lot of schools will be reopening. Lots of High Schools like North Creek plan to reopen for in-person teaching after spring break. Of course, there will be regulations in place to keep the students as safe as possible, such as constant sanitation of hands, temperature checks before entering the building, and students will have to fill out a safety form before entering the school. Social distancing will also be put in place to avoid the possible spread of any sickness.