Bill George

Bill George

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Phase 2 of Reopening RI - What You Need to Know!

On June 1st, Rhode Island enters Phase 2 of its reopening. Although most businesses will be open, there are many restrictions. In general, all businesses must implement strict cleaning and allow for social distancing.

Here are some of the Most Frequently Asked Questions:

1- What is "Phase 2?"

  • Phase 2 starts on Monday June 1st and allows for the opening of most types of business, each of which will have specific restrictions.
  • Phase 2 is expected to last through the month of June.
  • If all goes well in Phase 2... in July we will enter Phase 3, which will allow for rules to loosen up even more.

2- Do I still have to wear a mask in Phase 2?

  • Yes, masks are required in public, or generally any time you cannot maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other people.

3- Can I socialize with friends and family now?

  • The limit on social group sizes increases to 15 people (instead of 5 people during Phase 1).
  • However, the Dept. of Health still strongly recommends you keep the number of people you socialize with to a minimum. Try to keep your social circle limited to the same 15 people.

4- Are indoor restaurants open in Phase 2?

  • Beginning on June 1st, restaurants can start indoor dining with restrictions, including:
  • Reservations are required and all diners must supply contact info (name and phone numbers.)
  • Tables are limited to 8 people. Tables must be 8 feet apart.
  • Restaurants limited to 50% of capacity.
  • Diners must wear masks when not eating or drinking.
  • Menus should be disposable, digital or hung on the wall. Reusable menus are permitted as long as they are sanitized between uses.
  • Bar seating may be used for dining only.

5- Can I go to church?

  • Houses of worship can open on May 30th. Crowds are restricted to 25% of capacity.
  • You must sit at least 6 feet away from other families.
  • Avoid holding or shaking hands.
  • Communion elements should not be shared and should only be touched by the religious leader and the person receiving them.
  • Singing should be kept to a minimum.

6- Can I FINALLY get my hair cut?

  • YES! Beginning June 1st, reservations are required at salons and barber shops. Waiting in common areas is discouraged.
  • The customers AND professionals providing service must wear masks. If you need to remove the mask for access to your hair, you should hold the mask over your nose and mouth.
  • Customers should be spaced 6 feet apart.
  • Blow drying is discouraged, as it can spread germs.

7- Is it safe to go back to my gym?

  • Yes. Starting June 1st, gyms and health clubs can open. Reservations are strongly suggested by the Dept. of Health for classes and workout sessions, so check with your gym to see if it's required.
  • Masks should be worn whenever possible.
  • 6 feet of separation between workout stations is required. 14 feet is preferred, especially for cardio machines where you'll be breathing heavy and can't wear a mask.
  • Equipment must be cleaned between uses.
  • Classes limited to 15 people.
  • Common areas and locker rooms should be closed. No common showers. No whirlpools or saunas.

8- Can my kids play sports?

  • Youth sports are allowed, but restricted to consistent groups of 15 kids. (In other words, the same 15 kids all the time.)
  • Competition among teams is not allowed. The same group of 15 kids can practice or play among themselves.
  • No contact. Equipment should be cleaned between each kid's use.

9- What's NOT Open in Phase 2?

  • Bars and night clubs - Those may open in Phase 3, where crowds up to 50 people may be allowed.
  • Concert and entertainment venues - According to the CDC, it will not be safe to allow large crowds to gather until there is a vaccine for COVID-19. That will take at least until late 2020.
  • Sports stadiums - We probably won't see any sports playing to live crowds until 2021.

10- Where can I get more details?

  • Check out the state website: It is updated as the rules change and has lots of charts and posters that are helpful to both businesses and customers. There's a section for every type of business.

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