LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Gov. Pete Ricketts announced plans on Friday that will relax restrictions on establishments that were put in place to help combat the coronavirus.
Ricketts said starting on May 4, places of worship statewide will be exempt from the 10 person and under rule. Households can sit together at services but must be six feet apart from others. Passing items among worshipers will not be allowed.
Restaurants in certain locales, including Douglas, Sarpy and Cass counties, will be able to have 50 percent capacity in dining rooms starting on May 4. Tables must be six feet apart and staff must wear masks. Bar seating will not be allowed.
Beauty salons in certain areas, including Douglas, Sarpy and Cass counties, will be allowed to re-open on May 4 as long as they follow certain guidelines. For example, patrons and workers must wear masks.
Bars, gentlemen’s clubs, bottle clubs, indoor movie theaters, indoor theaters/playhouses will remain closed statewide until May 31.
Additional details on the measures announced Friday can be found below.
Earlier in the week, Ricketts announced elective surgeries, vet appointments, dental visits and eye appointments can resume statewide on May 4 as long as certain criteria gets met.
Gov. Ricketts: Directed Health Measures (DHMs)
· The current State DHM for Douglas County will be extended through May 3, 2020. The local DHMs from the Sarpy/Cass Health Department and the Douglas County Health Department will also be extended through May 3rd.
· The statewide closure until April 30th of all beauty/nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy services, gentleman’s clubs, bottle clubs, indoor movie theatres, indoor theatres, and tattoo parlors/studios is extended to May 3rd.
o That date will be extended further for some areas.
· As of May 4, 2020 the State will have 19 separate DHMs, one for each local health department (LHD). They will be effective through May 31, 2020.
Statewide DHM Changes
· Places of worship (churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, etc.)
Places of worship will have relaxed DHM requirements statewide beginning on May 4th.
They will need to ensure six feet of separation between different household units.
It will not be permissible to pass items among worshippers.
A guidance document will be provided with the new DHMs to give instructions to faith communities on how to comply with the updated health measures.
Regional DHM Changes
• Regional updates will apply to all of the following LHDs as of May 4, 2020:
o Douglas County Health Dept.
o Sarpy/Cass Dept. of Health
o East Central District Health Dept.
o Four Corners Health Dept.
o Loup Basin Public Health Dept.
o North Central District Health Dept.
o Northeast Nebraska Public Health Dept.
o Panhandle Public Health District
o Southeast District Health Dept.
o Southwest Nebraska Public Health District
o As of May 4th, beauty/nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy services, and tattoo parlors/studios in the above LHDs will be permitted to open. These establishments will be added to the list of gatherings subject to the 10-person rule.
o The new DHM will require both workers and patrons of these establishments to wear masks.
o For districts other than those listed above, these establishments will remain closed past May 3rd.
o As of May 4th, restaurants will be allowed to serve dine-in customers if all of the following conditions are met:
§ The restaurant limits seating to 50% of the rated occupancy maximum at all times.
§ The restaurant seats parties at least six feet apart.
§ All dining parties are restricted to no more than six persons (groups larger than six will need to sit at separate tables).
§ Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited. Restaurant staff must serve food directly to customers or implement buffet orders from the customer table. No customer self-service will be allowed.
§ Bar seating is not permitted.
§ Patrons may only consume alcohol on the premises if also consuming a meal.
o Bars that do not serve food will remain limited to carry-out sales and delivery only.
o For districts other than those listed above, restaurants will remain limited to delivery, drive-thru, or carryout past May 3rd.
• Childcare Facilities
o As of May 4th, childcare facilities will be permitted to have up to 15 kids per room/space.
§ All other state provisions, statutes, and regulations (including child-to-staff ratios) still apply.
§ For districts other than those listed above, childcares will remain restricted to 10 children per room/space.
• Other Establishments
o Bars, gentlemen’s clubs, bottle clubs, indoor movie theaters, indoor theaters/playhouses will remain closed statewide until May 31st, though the State may revise the DHM prior to that date.