NASHVILLE — A new group of businesses are set to open in Tennessee on Friday, May 8, including many types of recreational businesses.
Dance studios, bowling alleys, arcades, mini-golf, water sports and more will be able to reopen on Friday, according to Gov. Bill Lee, who on Wednesday released guidelines for the reopening. Larger venues, and activities where social distancing cannot be practiced, will remain closed.
“As our testing capacity and contact tracing ability continues to improve, it’s time to get Tennesseans back to work safely and successfully,” Lee said. “These guidelines were created in partnership with business leaders and health experts to preserve the progress we’ve made and protect the lives and livelihoods of Tennesseans.”
As with prior reopenings, the latest round will apply only to the 89 counties that do not operate their own health department. Six of the state’s larger counties are controlling their own reopenings.
As has been the case with every previous round of openings, with the exception of salons and barbershops reopening, Friday’s milestone will have little impact on Scott County. None of the affected businesses are located locally, with the exception of Gotta Dance Studio in Oneida, which does not plan to immediately reopen.
GDS’s Lanell Brennan said Wednesday that this weekend was scheduled to be the end of Gotta Dance’s recital season, “So right now we are just making plans for the next few weeks to open in stages with limitations. Hopefully we will be able to have some summer camps to finish out our season.”
Brennan said that all of GDS’s remaining regional dance competitions have been canceled, though her competitive teams are still hoping to be able to compete at the nationals.
“We are anxiously waiting to hear from the competition,” she said.
Among the guidelines for businesses that are reopening on Friday:
• Sanitize shared resources (such as throwing axes, bowling balls, rented shoes, and other equipment) after each use, and sanitize all high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces (such as counters, check-out areas, keypads, restrooms) every two hours and when visibly dirty
• Place hand sanitizer locations in high traffic areas, including check-in/out counters, lobbies, elevator areas, food services entrances, and meeting room entrances, if any
• Use plastic shields or barriers between customers and employees at service counters, and clean such shields or barriers frequently (every two hours and when visibly dirty)
• Use a clearly designated entrance and a separate clearly designated exit to maintain social distancing
• Add social distancing “reminder” signs, such as floor decals and audio announcements to encourage customers to be mindful of maintaining 6-feet of distance
• Remove all self-serve items on the premises (e.g., self-service bowling ball, golf club, and other selection stations); have staff provide such items to patrons directly
• Limit self-service options (customer samples, communal packaging, food/beverages, etc.). For on-site food and beverage services, follow restaurant guidelines issued by Economic Recovery Group (see full Restaurant guidelines here)
• Modify check-in and payment processes to observe social distancing and implement sanitization measures (e.g., no shared pens, use contact-less payments where possible)
• Any youth or adult team leagues, activities, or sports should remain closed temporarily to discourage large gatherings (e.g., bowling leagues) (see Executive Order No. 30, as may be amended)
• Any activities or areas that are likely to result in physical contact between individuals (e.g., laser tag venues) should be closed temporarily
• Any common areas where social distancing is difficult or impossible to maintain (e.g., playgrounds, children’s “ball pits”) should be closed temporarily
• Encourage parent / guardian supervision for all children when participating in recreational activities, and ensure that children are able to comply with applicable guidelines (e.g., social distancing, wear face coverings). Note that cloth face coverings should NOT be put on babies and children under age two because of the danger of suffocation
• Where possible, customers should be encouraged to schedule appointments or call-ahead reservations
• Prohibit use of waiting areas to avoid congregation (e.g., could adopt such practices as notifying customers by call or text message)