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Raimondo expected to lay out specifics about Phase 2 of reopening RI’s economy


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Less than one week after Gov. Gina Raimondo lifted the stay at home order and Rhode Island entered Phase 1 of reopening the economy, she is expected to look ahead to Phase 2 at her daily briefing set for 1 p.m. Thursday.

The state is still trying to get restaurants ready to expand their services, with outdoor dining becoming an option on Monday, but Raimondo hopes to enter Phase 2 within two weeks.

So far, non-essential retail stores have been allowed to reopen with tight restrictions. In Phase 2, the governor says more businesses will be reopened and restrictions will be more relaxed.

Part of Phase 2 could include opening the state beaches, as Raimondo hopes to get them open by Memorial Day weekend, but she says it’s not guaranteed.

Other factors of Phase 2 could include more childcare options becoming available and social gatherings increasing in size. On Wednesday, Raimondo and R.I. Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said they are even considering indoor dining at restaurants in Phase 2.

“The length of our phases will depend upon the public health data as guided by Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, so it could be longer that we remain in this phase before we transition to indoor seating,” Pryor said. “We do hope more restaurant owners give it a try.”

Raimondo says face masks and social distancing requirements will likely be around for some time.

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