Diners will be able to sit down in restaurants in 77 of Iowa’s 99 counties starting Friday, according to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ latest proclamation regarding restrictions put on Iowans to slow the spread of the COVID-19 illness,
Her proclamation also allows the reopening of fitness centers, malls, libraries, race tracks and stores that had been ordered closed as long as they operated at only 50 percent capacity and adhere to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
Floyd, Chickasaw, Cerro Gordo, Mitchell and Butler Counties are among the 77 counties that will have restrictions lifted. The 22 counties left out will have restrictions last until at least May 15.
In all 99 counties, however, restrictions on “religious and spiritual gatherings as long as “reasonable public health measures.”
Reynolds’ proclamation has three parts and is posted on the governor’s website. Here are 11 things to know about it.
- Only six people max can sit together inside restaurants. Each group of diners as well as people dining alone have to be six feet from each other.
- You will not be able to fill your own drinks because self-service is prohibited, which also means no buffets or salad bars.
- If a bar is just a bar, it can’t reopen. Heating up prepackaged sandwiches and frozen pizza does not make a restaurant.
- Exercise machines and equipment in fitness centers need to be six feet apart from each other.
- Group activities and classes at fitness centers are limited to 10 people or less and they all need to be six feet apart “at all times.”
- A speedway or race track, such as at the Floyd County Fairgrounds, can reopen as long as it does not allow any spectators attend events in person.
- These places must remained closed: bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades, amusement parks, senior citizen centers, golf course clubhouses, social and fraternal clubs such as the Elks Club, indoor or outdoor skating rinks or parks, museums, playgrounds and play centers, swimming pools, salons, barbershops, spas, tattoo shops, massage therapy establishments, tanning facilities and spas.
- Door-to-door sales are still banned.
- Campgrounds are closed to temporary visitors. Long-term residents get to stay.
- Wedding receptions of more than 10 people are social gatherings and are still prohibited.
- Cruising apparently is OK. More than 10 vehicles can gather as long as each vehicle has no more than 10 people inside and everyone stays in the vehicles at all times.