LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — In the past couple of weeks, Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced that he is lifting restrictions that were put in place in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Arkansas, along with a handful of other states, are beginning to move into “Phase One” of President Donald Trump’s guidelines for reopening the country.
The move will allow some businesses to reopen in a limited capacity.
Here are things you can now do in Arkansas in Phase One:
1. Go to the mall, retail stores
Retail stores in Little Rock are starting to reopen, including the Outlets of Little Rock who said they are opening a select number of retailers beginning on Friday, May 8.
Rack Room Shoes, Skechers, Journeys and the eateries/restaurants opening with the necessary guidelines are Delicioso Ice Cream, Starbucks (mobile order/mobile pay) and Beef Jerky who have already opened.
2. Go to Church
For places of worship, Hutchinson said that although he continues to encourage online services, they are able to have in-person services with restrictions such as six-foot distancing (besides family groups) and face coverings being worn at all times.
The governor also announced that large outdoor venues, including race tracks, fairgrounds, festivals, etc. are also allowed to open but again, with several restrictions.
Those restrictions include a 12-foot distance between performers, (which is why Hutchinson pointed out that these restrictions don’t help with sports events), and 50 or fewer performers/players/contestants.
3. Go to a restaurant
Restaurants can begin offering open limited dine-in services beginning on May 11.
Restaurants will only be allowed to use 33% of the occupancy rate of its location and there must be “physical distancing between patrons and tables.”
4. Workout at the gym
Under the guidelines for gyms and fitness centers to re-open, officials are requiring a 12-foot social distancing rule while working out and no personal contact.
City officials can choose whether to open city-owned facilities or keep them closed during the first phase, according to Hutchinson.
5. Go to the barbershop
Barbershops and salons reopened for business on Wednesday, May 6.
This announcement for re-openings includes barbershops, cosmetology, massage therapy, body art and medical spas.
Some of the guidelines for these businesses include ten or fewer people in facility, larger facilities, no more than 30% of stations in operation and no walk-in appointments.
6. Go to State Parks
On May 15, cabins, lodges and overnight rental facilities will reopen to Arkansas travelers only. Travelers will only be able to rent these facilities from Friday through Monday to allow plenty of time for proper cleaning and sanitizing.
Other amenities including marinas and park restaurants will also be allowed to reopen on May 15.
All state parks restaurants will be subject to guidelines from the department of health that will apply to all restaurants when they open.
7. Go to the casino
Each casino has to submit a list of protocols to the health department for approval. Social distancing will be the name of the game. They can begin opening on May 18.
8. Go the pool/swim beaches
Gov. Hutchinson announced that pools, splash pads, water parks and swim beaches would be allowed to open on May 22.
In order to reopen, several social distancing guidelines must be met, such as no entry if you’ve had fever, symptoms or have had contact with a positive patient, staying at 50% capacity and a 6-foot physical distancing in all areas.