A new set of guidelines released by the state of Alaska outlines the final phase of Governor Mike Dunleavy’s plan to reopen the country after about two months of a health mandate that limits business and social gatherings to stem the spread of COVID-19. Dunleavy told reporters Tuesday that he felt it was time to fully open the country.
This means that phases three and four of the plan to reopen the country have been combined. The governor issued a phase plan one month ago. Two weeks later he issued a phase two plan.
It has been a week since the adoption of the second phase of guidelines opening bars, gymnasiums and other entertainment businesses by up to 25% capacity and increasing restaurant and other business capacity benefits to 50%.
This last phase allows all businesses, churches, sports activities, libraries and museums and leisure activities to open to full capacity at 8am Friday.
Nationals are still encouraged to wash their hands regularly, observe physical distances, wear masks or face masks when in crowded areas, clean surfaces that are commonly used, avoid mass gatherings and avoid others when sick, but Dunleavy told reporters that he was relax from the mandate to the guidelines, basically leave it to Alaska to decide whether they want to comply with these protective measures.
Previous guidelines for reopening certain business sectors included strict instructions on how businesses operate if they want to be allowed to operate. This includes face coverings needed for all workers, daily sanitation or hours needed for surfaces that are touched regularly and capacity limits, among others.
No such instructions are included in the final phase guidelines which allow this facility to be fully opened.
“It is the responsibility of individuals, businesses and organizations to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We encourage all to follow local, state, national and industry guidelines on how to conduct business and activities safely, “the latest guidelines are described.
The State has not yet issued or mentioned a plan for enforcing safety measures.
A full copy of the final reopening phase guidelines can be found at www.bit.ly/2Zq9PO2.
A number of health mandates remain in effect, including requirements for all people traveling from overseas to quarantine themselves for two weeks upon arrival. The governor extended this mandate until 2 June last week. In addition, senior centers, long-term care facilities and prisons will continue to limit access to vulnerable populations.
Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.
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