En español | Governors across the country are issuing orders and recommendations to their residents on the status of schools, businesses and public services as their states respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
All states have taken coronavirus-related actions, but restrictions vary, and so does the length of time the measures are in place. Here’s a look at each state’s restrictions:
• Alabama: Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced that the state’s COVID-19 public health order will end Monday, May 31, and the state of emergency will end Tuesday, July 6. The current Safer Apart order lifts a statewide mask mandate but encourages people to wear one when within 6 feet of someone from another household. Get-togethers are allowed, but individuals from different households should maintain a 6-foot distance from one another. Individuals infected with COVID-19 must quarantine at home. Businesses and employers are encouraged to implement sanitation and safety protocols. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities could permit residents to receive two visitors at a time, subject to other restrictions.
• Alaska: Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) updated a travel mandate to a travel advisory. He recommends that visitors arriving in Alaska choose one of several options, such as showing a negative COVID-19 test or submitting to a test upon arrival. Critical infrastructure workers are exempt. Previously, Dunleavy permitted all businesses — including restaurants, hair salons, gyms, museums and entertainment venues — to reopen at 100 percent capacity. Safeguards are recommended. In group gatherings, individuals from different households are encouraged to maintain a 6-foot distance from one another. Local authorities and private businesses may enact stricter requirements, including mask mandates.
• Arizona: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed an order lifting restrictions on organized events. Planners of events with more than 50 people no longer need to seek approval first. The order also states that local mask mandates will be phased out, although mask wearing is still encouraged. Previously, Ducey lifted occupancy limits on businesses, including restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters and water parks. Businesses are encouraged, but not required, to follow CDC guidance. Travelers are free to visit the state without quarantining or providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
• Arkansas: Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) lifted a mask mandate on March 30. The health department recommends, but doesn’t require, that individuals over age 2 wear a face covering in public settings, when using public transportation or when around non-household members. Previously, Hutchinson signed an order that converted health department directives pertaining to restrictions on businesses and gatherings to guidance. Restaurants, bars, gyms and large venues no longer have capacity restrictions.
• California: Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the state will fully open its economy on June 15 if vaccine supply is sufficient and hospitalization rates are low. Currently, all regions are under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, with each county falling into one of four color-coded tiers: purple (where the coronavirus is most widespread), red, orange and yellow (where it is least prevalent).
All counties have moved out of the purple tier. In red-tier counties, restaurants can resume indoor dining at 25 percent capacity or 100 patrons, whichever is fewer. Retail stores may operate at 50 percent capacity, and museums can reopen indoors at 25 percent capacity. Indoor movie theaters can operate at 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 100 people. Gyms can open indoor facilities at 10 percent capacity. Outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed. Indoor gatherings are capped at 25 percent capacity with no more than three households or 10 people. For counties in the orange tier, bars that don’t serve food are among the businesses that can reopen for outdoor service. Restaurants can increase indoor dining capacity to 50 percent or 200 people (whichever is smaller). Offices can reopen, but telecommuting is still encouraged. Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. Indoor gatherings are capped at 25 percent capacity or 25 people (whichever is smaller). For counties in the yellow tier, most businesses can reopen, but they must follow safety precautions. Outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed. Indoor gatherings are capped at 50 percent capacity or 50 people (whichever is smaller).
For a full list of restrictions, visit covid19.ca.gov. The governor has ordered everyone to wear a face mask in public spaces; children under age 2 and people with certain medical disabilities are among those exempt. He also signed a bill into law that requires businesses to report COVID-19 outbreaks to local officials as well as to employees who may have been exposed to the coronavirus while at work.
• Colorado: Gov. Jared Polis (D) amended an order on face coverings. Masks are no longer required in public spaces with the following exceptions: schools (including extracurricular activities); childcare centers; department of motor vehicle offices; nursing, assisted living residences and other group homes; emergency medical and other health care settings; and prisons and jails. Fully vaccinated individuals are exempt except in limited situations. Businesses can impose their own mask restrictions. Previously, Polis lifted most capacity and business restrictions. If more than 100 people are gathered in a public indoor space, capacity is limited to 500 people. A 6-foot distance between unvaccinated groups must be in place or when vaccination status is unknown.
• Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont (D) announced he will lift most business restrictions May 19. On May 1, restaurants will no longer have to limit parties to eight people outdoors (the limit will still apply to indoor dining), and an 11 p.m. curfew for on-premises dining will be moved back to midnight. Events at commercial and entertainment venues, such as movie theaters and bowling alleys, will also be allowed to operate until midnight starting May 1. Bars that don’t serve food can open on May 1 for outdoor service only. Under current gathering restrictions, get-togethers at private residences are capped at 25 people indoors and up to 100 outdoors. At commercial venues, 100 people can gather indoors and 200 can congregate outdoors. Requirements for social distancing, sanitation and masking remain in place. Anyone over age 2 must wear a face covering in public places, indoors and outdoors, when social distancing cannot be maintained. Masks must be worn at gyms and fitness centers even with social distancing. A travel mandate is no longer in effect. Visitors or returning residents are advised to follow CDC guidance.
How and Why to Double-Mask
• Delaware: Gov. John Carney (D) modified coronavirus-related restrictions on outdoor gatherings. Effective April 1, outdoor events at venues without a fire-occupancy limit are capped at 150 people. If a venue of 100,000 square feet or more has an outdoor occupancy limit, it must restrict capacity to 50 percent. If an outdoor venue of 100,000 square feet or under has an outdoor occupancy limit, it must restrict capacity to 75 percent. With permission from the health department, outdoor gatherings of more than 150 people are allowed. Public indoor events continue to be limited to 50 percent of the venue’s fire occupancy or 25 people (whichever is smaller). With permission from the health department, public indoor gatherings of up to 150 people are allowed. Get-togethers at private residences may not exceed 10 people. Restaurants can offer indoor dining at 50 percent of their fire occupancy, but only customers from the same household can sit together. Retail stores, gyms and most other businesses can also operate at 50 percent capacity, among other restrictions. Individuals must wear a face covering when in indoor public places, including grocery stores and on mass transit, and when in outdoor public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained.
• District of Columbia: Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced that effective May 21, capacity limits will be lifted for private gatherings and most businesses, such as restaurants, retail stores, gyms and offices. Bars and nightclubs will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity as of May 21. Under current restrictions, live entertainment, theaters and cinemas can operate at 25 percent capacity, indoors or outdoors, with a maximum of 500 people. Indoor dining can continue at 25 percent capacity or 250 people, whichever is smaller. Restaurants can seat parties of up to 10 people. Alcohol service must stop at midnight. Gyms and fitness centers can operate at 50 percent capacity or 250 people, whichever is smaller. Indoor group classes must be capped at 25 people, and outdoor classes at 50. Libraries, nonessential retail and museums can bump up capacity to 50 percent (from 25 percent). Smithsonian museums began gradually reopening on May 5. Private outdoor gatherings of 50 people are allowed. Private indoor gatherings of 10 people are permitted. The mayor ordered people older than 2 to wear a mask when outside the home if more than fleeting contact with others is likely. Masks also must be worn on National Park Service–managed lands, including trails, when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Fully vaccinated individuals don’t have to wear masks outdoors except in a crowded venue.
• Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed an order lifting most coronavirus-related restrictions and moving the state to Phase 3 of its reopening plan, under which all businesses can reopen. Restaurants and bars are no longer subject to occupancy restrictions. However, city or county governments can impose occupancy limits on restaurants and bars (to as low as 50 percent capacity) if authorities state in the local order why the restriction is necessary for public health. DeSantis’ new order also removes fees or penalties for individuals who don’t follow social distancing practices, including mask mandates. The order went into effect Sept. 25.
• Georgia: Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed an order, effective May 1, that lifted most remaining restrictions on businesses. Businesses with in-person operations must minimize exposure to COVID-19, but they don’t have to follow specific requirements, such as spacing tables a certain distance apart or placing sanitation stations in specific places. Individuals are strongly encouraged to continue social distancing and wear face masks in public. Previously, Kemp lifted a shelter-in-place mandate for vulnerable individuals and removed restrictions on gatherings.
• Hawaii: Gov. David Ige (D) issued a proclamation that will allow fully vaccinated travelers to bypass quarantine or testing requirements. Travelers will be required to upload valid documents to the state’s Safe Travel program or otherwise show validation. Alternatively, travelers arriving in Hawaii from out of state must either show a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within 72 hours pre-travel or self-quarantine for 10 days. Some islands require a second test, post-arrival. Visitors to Kauai must quarantine for 10 days, with or without a negative test result. Ige also extended until June 8 a moratorium on residential evictions for tenants who fail to pay rent.
A statewide mandate requires individuals age 5 and older to wear a face mask in public settings. Masks are not required outdoors if individuals can maintain social distancing from nonhousehold members. The state is under the Act With Care plan for reopening, which allows many businesses to resume operations, with restrictions. Each county has its own restrictions on gatherings.
• Idaho: Gov. Brad Little (R) signed an order that moves the state to Stage 3 of its reopening plan. Indoor or outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. Religious and political gatherings are exempt from size restrictions, but social distancing and sanitation measures must be in place. With permission, events such as weddings and funerals may also exceed participant limits. The organizer must apply for an exemption with the local health department. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs can continue to operate. Tables must be spaced 6 feet apart, and customers must remain seated unless arriving, leaving or using the restroom. Little has not issued a statewide mask mandate, but individuals over age 5 must wear a mask at long-term care facilities. Businesses may remain open but must take steps to limit close interactions when serving patrons, among other restrictions.
• Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced that he is updating the statewide mask mandate to allow vaccinated individuals to stop wearing a face covering in most settings. Nonvaccinated individuals over age 2 should continue to wear a mask when indoors in a public space or outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. In line with CDC guidance, both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals should wear a mask while using public transit or in health care settings. On May 14 the state moved to the Bridge Phase, a transition between Phase 4 rules and Phase 5, the new normal. Indoor dining at restaurants and bars can operate, but parties cannot exceed 10 people and tables should be spaced 6 feet apart. Standing areas in dining establishments are limited to 30 percent capacity indoors and 50 percent outdoors. Capacity limits on many other businesses, such as gyms, offices and retail, increased to 60 percent. Social events are capped at 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. Nonvaccinated individuals are encouraged to limit in-person contact with others.
• Indiana: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed an order, effective May 1, that says businesses must develop a plan to keep employees, customers, members and clients safe. Previously, he lifted most business restrictions. Holcolmb also lifted a statewide mask mandate. Masks must still be worn in government buildings, at COVID vaccination and testing sites, and in K-12 facilities. Local authorities and businesses can implement additional face covering requirements. Local authorities can also determine gathering restrictions based on a county’s community spread.
• Iowa: Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a proclamation lifting a mask mandate and other coronavirus-related restrictions, effective Feb. 7. Individuals age 65 and older are encouraged, but not required, to limit activities outside of the home. Businesses, including restaurants, bars, movie theaters and hair salons, are strongly encouraged to take precautionary measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Mass gatherings and events have no limits on size, but people are encouraged to practice social distancing.
• Kansas: Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed an order on April 1 that extended a mask mandate, but the Legislative Coordinating Council quickly voted to rescind it. A law that went into effect last month requires the council to review any executive order related to the pandemic and gives them the authority to revoke it. Previously, Kelly announced that counties should come up with their own plans to reopen businesses. A statewide plan to restart the economy in phases offers guidance, but counties aren’t required to follow it. The state Department of Health and Environment mandated a quarantine for people arriving in Kansas who traveled to certain states or countries with widespread transmission, but the length of quarantine varies depending on whether the individual has been tested. The mandate also applies to anyone who traveled on a cruise ship on or after March 15.
• Kentucky: Gov. Andy Beshear (D) modified a mask mandate. Effective April 27, masks are no longer required at outdoor events with 1,000 people or fewer. Individuals over age 5 must continue to wear a face covering while inside a public space, while using public transportation or at outdoor venues where more than 1,000 people are gathered, such as the Kentucky Derby. Previously, Beshear extended the curfew on restaurants and bars by one hour. They must stop food and drink service by midnight and close by 1 a.m. Indoor dining capacity is capped at 60 percent. Indoor event venues of fewer than 1,000 people, theaters, gyms, retail stores and personal-care businesses must also limit occupancy to 60 percent. If more than 1,000 people are gathered, the capacity limit is 50 percent. A restriction on private indoor gatherings has expired.
• Louisiana: Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) amended a statewide mask mandate and loosened capacity restrictions on events. Everyone 8 and older must continue to wear a face mask in state government buildings, schools and health care facilities, and while using public transportation, but masks are no longer required in all public spaces. Businesses and local governments can enact their own policies. Capacity limits no longer apply to outdoor events such as fairs and festivals. Indoor events, such as sports competitions and concerts, can operate at 75 percent capacity with social distancing or 100 percent capacity with a mask requirement. Previously, Edwards lifted capacity limits on restaurants, bars, gyms and hair salons.
• Maine: Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed an order that increases gathering limits and loosens travel restrictions. Currently, indoor gathering limits and indoor customer limits for businesses are capped at 50 percent capacity, 50 people or five people per 1,000 square feet (whichever is greatest). On May 24, that standard changes to 75 percent capacity, 50 people or five people per 1,000 square feet (whichever is greatest). Outdoor gatherings at a venue with occupancy limits can operate at 75 percent capacity until May 24, when they can increase to 100 percent capacity. Face coverings are mandatory statewide for anyone 5 and older in indoor public spaces, even if social distancing can be maintained, but masks are no longer required in outdoor settings. As of May 1, travelers visiting Maine no longer have to show a negative COVID-19 test or self-quarantine unless coming from a non-exempt state.
• Maryland: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced people no longer need to wear masks outdoors. People older than 5 must continue to wear a face covering in the indoor public spaces of all businesses and while using public transportation. Previously, Hogan lifted capacity restrictions in the state’s reopening plan. Restaurants, bars, retail stores, fitness centers, religious centers and personal-care services can operate at 100 percent capacity. Indoor and outdoor venues and convention centers may operate at 50 percent capacity. Restaurants must continue to serve only patrons who are seated. Individual counties can still impose tighter restrictions.
• Massachusetts: Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced he will lift remaining COVID-19 restrictions on May 29. The statewide mask mandate will also be rescinded on that date. Under current restrictions, private indoor gatherings remain capped at 10 people, and private outdoor get-togethers are limited to 25 participants. For public gatherings those caps are 100 people if indoors and 150 people if outdoors. Capacity limits on restaurants have been lifted, but tables must be spaced 6 feet apart and parties are limited to six people. Currently, retail stores, offices, movie theaters, places of worship, gyms and museums are among the businesses that can operate at 50 percent capacity. Indoor performance venues, like concert halls, can also operate at 50 percent capacity but must cap attendance at 500 people. Everyone over age 5 must wear a mask in indoor public places, including gyms and athletic facilities. Masks are required outdoors only if social distancing cannot be maintained.
• Michigan: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced Michigan will gradually loosen restrictions as certain vaccination milestones are met. Under the state health department’s current restrictions, the limits for residential gatherings are as follows: up to 15 people from three households when indoors; up to 50 people when socializing outdoors. Nonresidential gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 300 outdoors, with restrictions. Restaurants and bars can open indoor dining at 50 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is smaller. Outdoor dining is allowed at 100 percent capacity. Whether indoors or outdoors, tables must be 6 feet apart, with no more than six people. An 11 p.m. curfew remains in place. Indoor entertainment venues can operate at 50 percent capacity or 300 people, with restrictions. Retail establishments, libraries and museums can also operate at 50 percent capacity, with safety measures in place. Gyms and fitness groups, as well as casinos, are limited to 30 percent capacity.
A statewide mask mandate requires anyone over age 2 to wear a face covering indoors or at large outdoor gatherings. Masks aren’t required at outdoor gatherings of fewer than 100 people. Fully vaccinated individuals don’t need to wear face masks at indoor or outdoor residential gatherings.
• Minnesota: On March 12, Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced that most business restrictions will end May 28 and a mask mandate will end July 1. Starting at noon on May 7, outdoor gatherings no longer need to abide by capacity limits and masking rules. The curfew on restaurants is also lifted. Restaurants and bars can offer indoor dining at 75 percent capacity, with a maximum of 250 patrons. Parties must be limited to 10 people. Gyms and fitness centers can operate at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 250 people. Indoor fitness classes cannot exceed 50 participants. Masks must be worn in gyms and fitness centers at all times. Personal-care businesses, such as hair salons and tattoo parlors, are no longer subject to capacity limits, but social distancing must be enforced. Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. A mask mandate on indoor spaces is still in effect. People over age 5 must wear a mask when inside a business or public space or when using public transportation, a taxi or a ride-hailing service.
• Mississippi: Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signed an order lifting most coronavirus-related restrictions as of April 30. Businesses are encouraged to comply with federal and state coronavirus guidelines, such as adopting social distancing, masking and sanitation practices. Local authorities and businesses may also implement a mask mandate. Masks are required to be worn in K-12 schools through the end of the academic year. Otherwise, residents are encouraged, but not required, to wear face coverings when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from individuals not in the same household. Residents are also encouraged to avoid large gatherings, particularly indoors; to practice social distancing and handwashing; and to stay home if they feel sick or have COVID-19 symptoms.
• Missouri: After initially putting the state under a stay-at-home order last April, Gov. Mike Parson (R) fully reopened the state on June 16, 2020. According to a press release issued by the governor’s office, “All statewide restrictions will be lifted, though local officials will still have the authority to put further rules, regulations or ordinances in place.” Parson encouraged people to maintain social distancing and take precautions, such as practicing good hygiene and avoiding large crowds.
• Montana: Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) issued a directive allowing a statewide mask mandate to expire. The directive stated that local jurisdictions may implement a mask mandate. Gianforte also issued a directive encouraging businesses to develop and implement appropriate social distancing, safety and sanitation practices. Previously, the governor lifted coronavirus-related restrictions put in place by his predecessor, Steve Bullock, such as gathering limits and curfews on businesses.
• Nebraska: Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) announced changes to the state’s directed health measures. Effective Jan. 30, the state moved from the blue to the green phase of its reopening plan. Indoor gatherings at theaters, arenas, stadiums, auctions and similar establishments can increase to 100 percent capacity. Parties are encouraged, but not required, to maintain a 6-foot distance from one another. Those wishing to hold events of 500 people or more must submit a plan to the local health department. Restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness centers and salons are among businesses that can operate at 100 percent capacity and without restrictions. Businesses are encouraged to follow recommended guidance.
What to Say When You Have Been Exposed to COVID
• Nevada: Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) issued a directive that transfers the authority to issue mitigation measures to local officials. Each county will now decide what restrictions to place on businesses and public activities. Between May 1 and May 31, an event organizer that hosts a gathering of over 250 people must submit a plan to the county where the event is to take place. A statewide mask mandate remains in effect. People over age 9 must wear a face covering in indoor public spaces, including at private gatherings or at an indoor gym, fitness center or dance studio. Masks are also required at outdoor public spaces when social distancing cannot be maintained.
• New Hampshire: Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced he won’t extend a mask mandate that expired April 16. Businesses or municipalities can still require masks. Under current restrictions, restaurants can offer both indoor and outdoor service, but tables should be spaced 6 feet apart, among other guidelines. Gyms can reopen at 50 percent capacity. Previously, Sununu permitted retail stores, hair salons, barbershops and similar businesses to reopen, with restrictions. Non-international travelers, visitors and residents arriving in the state no longer have to meet self-quarantine restrictions, although travelers are advised to follow CDC guidance.
• New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an order, effective May 19, that loosens restrictions on gatherings and some businesses. Most business capacities, which are currently based on a percentage of maximum occupancy, will be removed, including those for restaurants, gyms and personal care services. Businesses will be limited only by the space available for individuals and parties of people to maintain the required social distance of 6 feet. Outdoor gatherings of any size are allowed as long as groups remain 6 feet apart and any mask requirements are followed. Private indoor gatherings can increase to 50 people, and commercial indoor gatherings, such as conferences and expositions, can increase to 250 people. Large-scale indoor venues (those with 1,000 or more fixed seats) may operate at 30 percent capacity. Social distancing, masks and other applicable health protocols still apply. The governor ordered people to wear face coverings when outside in public spaces if social distancing cannot be maintained. Cloth masks are required in grocery stores and in other indoor public spaces.
• New Mexico: Under the direction of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), the health department moved to a color-coded framework where a county’s restrictions depend on virus risk. In high-risk red counties, indoor dining isn’t permitted, outdoor dining is limited to 25 percent capacity and food establishments that serve alcohol must close by 9 p.m. Most businesses can operate at 25 percent capacity with maximum customer limits that depend on the type of establishment (for example, close-contact businesses are capped at 10 people). Gatherings are limited to 5 people. In yellow counties, gathering limits increase to 10 people. Restaurants can operate at 25 capacity indoors, 75 percent capacity outdoors and, if they serve alcohol, must close by 10 p.m. Customer limits at other businesses can increase. In green counties, gatherings of up to 20 people are allowed. Restaurants can operate at 50 percent capacity indoors and 75 percent capacity outdoors. Most other businesses can operate at 50 percent capacity. Essential businesses aren’t subject to capacity restrictions. Individuals statewide must wear a mask when in a public space.
• New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that he will lift the midnight curfew for outdoor dining at bars and restaurants on May 17 and indoor dining on May 31. Cuomo also announced bar seating in New York City can resume May 3. Catered events at private residences can also resume May 3. As of May 7, restaurants in New York City were able to begin operating indoors at 75 percent capacity, the same as eateries outside the city. Zoos, nature parks, outdoor museums and other low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity; indoor arts and entertainment venues can operate at 25 percent capacity. On May 15, gyms and fitness centers outside New York City can increase capacity from 33 percent to 50 percent. Since March 5, movie theaters have been open statewide at 25 percent capacity, with no more than 50 people per theater. Indoor private gatherings at residences are limited to 10 people, but up to 25 people may gather outdoors. If the social gathering is at a nonresidential location, the cap is 100 people inside and 200 outside. Nursing homes that meet certain benchmarks can receive visitors.
Asymptomatic visitors arriving in New York are no longer required to quarantine or get tested. Travelers with symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate. International travelers must follow CDC requirements, such as obtaining a negative test before boarding a plane. Individuals over age 2 must wear a face mask in public if social distancing cannot be maintained.
• North Carolina: Gov. Roy Cooper (D) signed an order, effective April 30 at 5 p.m., that lifts a mask mandate when outdoors but continues to require masks indoors. Individuals age 5 and older must wear a face covering in any indoor space (unless at home) when they are near nonhousehold members, even if social distancing can be maintained. Masks must be worn while inside gyms or exercising outdoors within 6 feet of a non-household member. The new order also raises limits on gatherings. Indoor get-togethers can increase to 100 people; those held outside to 200. The order keeps capacity restrictions on many businesses in place, but Cooper said he plans to lift them by June 1. Indoor restaurants, gyms and recreational facilities are among the businesses that can operate at 75 percent capacity (100 percent capacity if outdoors). Bars, movie theaters, office conference rooms and sports arenas are among the places that can operate at 50 percent capacity, whether indoors or outdoors. Museums, retail stores and hair salons are among the businesses that can operate at 100 percent capacity. Regardless of capacity limits, social distancing and other safety protocols must be in place.
• North Dakota: Under the direction of Gov. Doug Burgum (R), the state health officer adjusted coronavirus-related restrictions on certain businesses. Effective Jan. 29, the state moved from a moderate (yellow) risk level designation to a low (green) risk level. Restaurants and other food establishments can increase service to 80 percent capacity or 300 people, whichever is smaller. Event venues, such as ballrooms, are limited to 75 percent capacity, with a cap on the number of people. The cap differs based on the designation for each county under the state’s Smart Restart plan. A statewide mask mandate expired in January. In March, Burgum rescinded two orders placing restrictions on assisted living facilities, including testing residents and staff. The facilities are encouraged to follow CDC guidance on testing, service and in-person visitors.
• Ohio: Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced most health orders related to COVID-19 will end June 2. Capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor events, social distancing guidelines and the mask mandate will be lifted. Under current statewide restrictions, people must wear face coverings when inside a location that is not a residence, when using public transportation or when outside if a 6-foot distance between non-household members cannot be maintained. Children younger than 10 and individuals with certain medical conditions are among those who are exempt. A prohibition on public and private gatherings of more than 10 people has been lifted, and the guideline is now a recommendation. Restaurants can offer table service indoors but cannot seat parties larger than 10. The state is no longer issuing a travel advisory, but travelers are encouraged to follow CDC guidance. Since March 2, indoor sports and entertainment venues have been permitted to seat spectators at up to 25 percent capacity. Social distancing should be practiced at all gatherings.
At nursing homes and other residential care facilities, fully vaccinated staff do not have to be routinely tested, while unvaccinated staff must be tested at least twice a week. Also, regardless of vaccination status, those staff and residents who have COVID-19 symptoms must be tested, and everyone must be tested if a single new infection is reported within a facility.
• Oklahoma: On March 11, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced that he will sign an order that lifts restrictions on events and residents. He also said individuals will no longer be required to wear masks in state buildings. Under the direction of Stitt, the health department updated the county-by-county designation for COVID-19 risk. Guidance for individuals in counties in the moderate (orange) phase encourages small gatherings, limiting travel and wearing a face mask in public spaces. Guidance for businesses includes offering teleworking options for employees when possible. Businesses should also implement sanitation and social distancing practices. In counties in the low (yellow) phase, businesses are encouraged to implement flexible work arrangements, and those holding large gatherings should take hygiene and safety measures. Guidance for individuals in counties in the green (new normal) phase encourages practicing physical distancing and wearing masks where distancing isn’t possible. At events and large gatherings, the guidance encourages heightened sanitation protocols.
• Oregon: On April 30 Gov. Kate Brown (D) designated 15 counties as “extreme risk” because of the recent rapid spread of COVID-19 in the state. The designation is effective through May 6 and includes two counties in the Portland area, Clackamas and Multnomah. The other counties are Baker, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Linn, Marion, Polk and Wasco. Under the “extreme risk” category, indoor dining is prohibited, but outdoor capacity limits for bars, restaurants and other sectors will be raised from 50 to 100 people, with health and safety measures, including physical distancing, in place. Retail and grocery stores are limited to 50 percent capacity. Houses of worship and funeral homes are limited to 25 percent capacity or 100 people indoors (whichever is smaller). Services are also limited to one hour. In an effort to speed up the return to normal business operations, Brown announced that county COVID-19 data will be evaluated weekly for at least the next three weeks.
Current restrictions depend on a county’s risk level. In red counties, businesses must require remote work if possible. Indoor dining is prohibited. Outdoor dining is capped at 50 people and cannot include more than six individuals in a party. Retail stores can operate at 50 percent occupancy. Houses of worship may operate at 25 percent occupancy, with a maximum of 100 people indoors or 150 people outdoors. Movie theaters, gyms and other indoor entertainment and recreational venues that are 500 square feet or larger can allow up to four groups, with a cap of six individuals per group. For facilities smaller than 500 square feet, one-on-one customer experiences are allowed (such as personal training). Private gatherings, indoors or outdoors, cannot exceed six people.
In orange counties, up to eight people are permitted for outdoor private gatherings. Restaurants can offer indoor dining at 25 percent capacity or 50 people (whichever is smaller). Indoor entertainment and fitness facilities can also operate at 25 percent capacity or 50 people.
In yellow counties, restaurants can offer indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 100 people, and outdoor dining with up to 150 people. Indoor private gatherings cannot exceed eight people, and outdoor private gatherings are capped at 10.
In green counties, indoor private gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed; outdoor private gatherings are limited to 12 participants. Restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues are among businesses that can operate at 50 percent capacity. In red, orange and yellow counties, food and drink establishments must close by 11 p.m. In green counties, food and drink establishments must close by midnight.
• Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed an order that amended restrictions on gatherings and businesses. Effective April 1, gatherings are limited to 25 percent of a venue’s capacity if indoors and 50 percent if outdoors. Participants must wear masks and adhere to social distancing and other safety measures. Restaurants, bars and other food establishments can resume indoor dining at 50 percent capacity as long as physical distancing and other mitigation measures are in place. Gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters, museums and other indoor entertainment venues can operate at 75 percent capacity. Effective March 1, visitors and returning residents are no longer required to show a negative COVID-19 test or self-quarantine. A mask mandate remains in effect. Individuals age 2 and older must wear a face covering in indoor public zones. Masks are also required outside if a 6-foot distance between nonhousehold members cannot be maintained. Previously, the governor announced that Pennsylvania Turnpike tollbooths will stop taking cash.
• Rhode Island: Gov. Dan McKee (D) loosened coronavirus-related restrictions. As of March 19, restaurants have been allowed to offer indoor service at 75 percent capacity. Bar areas must be roped off by 11 p.m. (or midnight if serving food). Retail stores, gyms and personal-care establishments can permit one patron per 50 square feet (big-box stores may have one person per 100 square feet). Houses of worship can offer indoor services at 75 percent capacity. Venues of assembly, such as concert halls and spectator-sport facilities, can operate indoors at 50 percent capacity, with a cap of 250 people (if outdoors, the cap is 500). Social gatherings of up to 15 people are permitted indoors and of up to 50 people if held outside. Individuals older than 2 must wear a face covering in public spaces, whether inside or outside, if social distancing cannot be maintained. Face masks are also required when using taxis, ride-hailing services or similar transportation options. Anyone arriving in Rhode Island for nonwork purposes from an area with a high community COVID-19 rate must self-quarantine for 10 days or obtain a negative coronavirus test after arrival. Vaccinated individuals are exempt, as long as they received their final dose 14 days before arrival.
• South Carolina: Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed an order that invalidates any mask mandate issued by a county, municipality or other political subdivision of the state. Face coverings continue to be encouraged, and private businesses can implement their own policies. Previously, McMaster encouraged restaurants to space tables 6 feet apart and limit parties to eight people if members are from different households. McMaster also lifted restrictions on large gatherings. He recommends limiting attendance to 50 percent of a venue’s capacity or 250 people. Nonessential businesses can reopen; guidelines are recommended.
• South Dakota: Gov. Kristi Noem signed an order putting the state’s “Back to Normal” plan in effect. The plan encourages employers to sanitize high-traffic areas and screen employees for illness. Retail businesses should operate in a manner that promotes social distancing and should consider limiting the number of customers inside their stores. The plan also encourages, but doesn’t require, older adults and other vulnerable individuals to stay at home.
• Tennessee: Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed an order that removes the authority of local officials in 89 counties to issue a mask mandate. Six counties are subject to the restrictions of their independent health departments, and Lee requested those six counties lift mask mandates and business restrictions by the end of May. The order also states the Tennessee Pledge, which offered guidance to help businesses reopen, should no longer be considered a source of recommendations.
• Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order lifting the state’s mask mandate and allowing businesses of all types to open to 100 percent of capacity as of March 10. In counties with high hospitalization rates, a county judge may implement COVID-19-related restrictions, but businesses cannot be required to operate under 50 percent capacity and individuals can’t be penalized for not wearing face coverings, among other limitations. Businesses are still encouraged to follow state health recommendations when possible. Businesses can also still choose to implement sanitation protocols, require employees and customers to wear masks and adopt other coronavirus-related measures. The order encourages individuals to still wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained from people who are not members of their household.
• Utah: Under the direction of Gov. Spencer Cox (R), on May 4, the health department ended the statewide mask mandate, except for schools. Masks are required for K-12 schools until the end of the 2020-21 school year or June 15, whichever comes first. Masks are recommended for crowded, indoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible. Businesses may post signage listing COVID-19 symptoms and face mask or physical distancing requirements.
• Vermont: Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced that he plans to fully reopen the state by July 4 if enough people are vaccinated. Under current restrictions, bars and clubs can reopen and must follow the same restrictions as restaurants. Restaurants can operate at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 outdoors. Parties cannot exceed six people per table, and in-person dining must close by 10 p.m. Hair salons and barbershops can reopen, but they must take appointments and limit occupancy. Restrictions on private social gatherings depend on whether individuals are vaccinated. Vaccinated individuals or households may gather together. If households or individuals are not fully vaccinated, social gatherings are limited to two households or individuals. Previously, Scott ordered everyone age 2 and older to wear a face covering in public spaces, indoors or outdoors, when physical distancing isn’t possible. All nonessential travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test within three days prior to visiting Vermont. Travelers who have been vaccinated are exempt.
• Virginia: Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed an order that amends a mask mandate to align with CDC guidance. Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear a mask in most settings. Unvaccinated individuals 5 and older should wear face coverings as recommended by the CDC, such as in crowded indoor settings. Under current statewide restrictions, up to 1,000 spectators are allowed to gather for outdoor recreational sports. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gyms and fitness centers can operate at 75 percent capacity. Movie theaters, concert venues and other entertainment facilities can reopen, with limits. Restaurants may offer bar seating as long as parties are separated by 6 feet. A ban on alcohol sales after midnight has been lifted. Indoor social gatherings are capped at 100 people (up from 50), and outdoor gatherings are capped at 250 (up from 100). Northam announced that the capacity and distancing restrictions will end May 28.
• Washington: Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced that the state will take a phased, county-by-county approach to its road-to-recovery plan. For counties in Phase 3, indoor social gatherings are allowed, with a maximum of 10 people from outside of the household. Outdoor social gatherings may have a maximum of 50 people from outside of the household. Restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, personal-care services and similar indoor operations are limited to 50 percent capacity. Restaurants must stop alcohol service by midnight, and parties cannot exceed 10 people. Sports competitions and tournaments can resume. For counties in Phase 2, indoor social gatherings are capped at five people, with a two-household limit. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 15 participants, with a two-household limit. Restaurants must limit indoor dining to 25 percent capacity, seat parties no larger than six and stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. A mask mandate requires that individuals wear a face covering in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
• West Virginia: Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed an order updating and clarifying some coronavirus-related restrictions, while doing away with others. Under the new order, social gatherings are now allowed without any restriction on number of people. Restaurants can offer indoor service at 100 percent capacity, with social distancing and other precautions in place. Gyms, retail stores, museums and other small businesses can also operate without capacity restrictions, provided they follow safety and sanitation protocols. As of May 1, fairs, festivals and summer camps can resume. Individuals 9 and older must wear a face covering in all indoor public spaces even when social distancing can be maintained. The mandate doesn’t apply to people when they are alone in a room, eating or drinking in a restaurant, or actively exercising.
• Wisconsin: Under the direction of Gov. Tony Evers (D), the health department recommends, but doesn’t require, actions that Wisconsinites should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as practicing social distancing and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated areas. Unvaccinated individuals should avoid get-togethers with anyone outside of their household. Masks should be worn in indoor spaces when not at home, at enclosed outdoor spaces and while using public transportation or ride-hailing services.
In May 2020 the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state Department of Health Services’ safer-at-home order, issued under Evers’ direction. Private businesses can enforce their own restrictions, such as requiring patrons to follow social distancing practices.
• Wyoming: Under the direction of Gov. Mark Gordon (R), the state health officer amended restrictions on large indoor gatherings. Indoor events of more than 500 people cannot exceed 50 percent of the venue’s capacity. Gatherings at hotels, livestock auctions and faith-based organizations are among those that are exempt. Social distancing between individual groups must be maintained, and sanitation protocols must be in place. Even though Gordon lifted a statewide mask mandate on March 16, masks are still required at large indoor events with some exceptions, such as when eating or drinking. Restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters could resume normal business operations on March 16.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect new information.
List of Coronavirus-Related Restrictions in Every State
Some states have begun to drop coronavirus-related restrictions