NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee released guidelines for the reopening of restaurants and retail stores in 89 counties on Friday.
Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan counties are excluded from the guidelines, and the state will work directly with those larger areas on plans to reopen.
For everyone else, restaurants will be allowed to reopen on Monday, April 27, with retailers following suit on Wednesday. These businesses can only operate at 50 percent capacity.
Customers will be allowed to dine-in, but they will be screened with basic questions about COVID-19 symptoms.
Live music is not allowed and bar areas are to remain closed.
The state still recommends that employees wear masks.
Businesses such as barbershops, salons and tattoo parlors will have to wait a few more weeks to reopen as they work through a plan that ensure social distancing in those settings.
“Our approach to rebooting the economy must be steady, epithotical, and empower opening in a way that doesn’t jeopardize all of the strides that we made so far.”4
“Like the rest of the country, Tennessee has taken an unprecedented economic hit with families and small businesses feeling the most pain,” Lee said. “We must stay vigilant as a state, continue to practice social distancing, and engage in best practices at our businesses so that we can stay open.”
The announcement comes a day after the state released its unemployment numbers. In all, more than 400,000 Tennesseans have file for benefits in the last five weeks.
State officials said they anticipate a $5 billion loss in the state’s domestic product this year.