Arkansas Governor: Gyms Allowed to Reopen Monday, Limited Dine-In at Restaurants May 11

by Alex Tostado

Little Rock, Ark. — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has rolled out Phase I plans for reopening the state. Hutchinson says gyms and fitness centers will be able to open Monday, May 4, while restaurants will be allowed to operate dine-in services at one-third capacity Monday, May 11.

The guidelines for gyms and fitness centers include the use of facemasks for staff and patrons except when exercising, daily temperature checks for employees and patrons and social distancing of at least 12 feet while exercising. Additionally, Hutchinson placed restrictions on patrons who can enter, including but not limited to those who have returned from travel to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Orleans or overseas within the past 14 days; have had a fever of 100.4°F or greater in the past two days; or had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days.

The guidelines for restaurants require daily health screening of staff, use of facemasks and gloves and strict social distancing. The governor requires that tables be 10 feet apart; employees interacting with patrons must wear a facemask covering the nose and mouth; kitchen staff are encouraged to wear a mask; employees must wear gloves that are switched out after each interaction with a customer, group or task; patrons must wear a mask while not eating; and salad bars and other self-serve areas are to remain closed.

These Phase I restrictions will remain in place until Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith determines that they may be relaxed or discontinued.

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