PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Friday, Gov. Gina Raimondo says she plans to detail more information about Phase 2 of reopening Rhode Island’s economy, and when that will happen.
The announcement is expected as several executive orders are set to expire Saturday.
The governor first announced her plan to reopen Rhode Island in phases on April 27, and the state entered Phase 1 on May 9 after the Stay at Home order was lifted. Recently, she said she expects about a month in between phases.
April 27, Rhode Islanders got a glimpse into all phases, though more specific details industry-by-industry are expected Friday. Some items listed in Phase 2 have already been announced.
In Phase 2, the governor says close-contact businesses including, but not limited to, gymnasiums, fitness centers and similar exercise facilities, hair salons and barbershops, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors. Specific guidelines are expected to be announced Friday. An executive order for these businesses to remain closed is currently in effect until May 23.
As of May 18, restaurants were permitted to begin outdoor dining in addition to pick-up, delivery, and drive-through operations. Restaurants are also allowed to sell wine, beer, and mixed alcoholic drinks with take-out orders. An executive order for restaurants, bars and establishments offering food and drinks not to permit on-premises consumption of food or drink is currently in effect until May 23.
In Phase 2, the governor says older adults (65+) and those with underlying health conditions can go to work and go out for food or medicine. However, in accordance with federal public health guidance, vulnerable individuals are still strongly encouraged to otherwise stay home.
Masks, vigilant handwashing and increased cleaning must remain in place, and all activities must account for strong social distancing guidelines of remaining 6-feet apart.
Additional recreational options will likely return including more parks and beaches, but restrictions remain. As of Monday, all state parks reopened, and the governor announced East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beach would be open by Memorial Day, but with limited parking, no bathrooms, lifeguards or changing rooms.
Social gathering limits will increase to 15 people in Phase 2. Prior to an announcement about Phase 2, houses of worship were told by May 30, they can allow 25% capacity for services (including weddings and funerals). Offices will ease capacity restrictions allowing more people to come in, but many people will still work from home.
Currently, any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine restriction does not apply to public health, public safety or healthcare workers, in addition to anyone traveling for medical treatment, to attend funeral or memorial services.
The governor has also said the order does not apply to those get get groceries, gas or medication across state lines. This executive order is currently in effect until May 23.