Connecticut became the 50th and final state to move toward reopening, allowing retail stores and restaurants to begin serving patrons once again on May 20. State-by-state, the country is reopening businesses, with some U.S. territories less restrictive than others. States like South Dakota and Iowa stayed mostly open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, while many Northeast states went into full lockdown.
The White House released its Guidelines for Opening Up America Again in April, although final decisions on reopening procedures were left to individual states. To find out the reopening phase of each state, Stacker researched state government websites and local breaking news reports to see what is open and what remains closed. The services and businesses included in each phase vary widely by state, with most issuing orders in three- and four-phased plans. Some states have made decisions on reopening broadly, while others have gone on a county-by-county basis.
Harder-hit states such as Washington are taking a more conservative approach to reopening, though Texas, Arizona, and Alabama are among a few states already entering Phase II of their individual plans.
Regardless of what phase they’ve entered, every state is recommending practicing social distancing of at least six feet and wearing a mask to help reduce the risk of infection as public activity increases. Those recommendations have not always been followed, as seen with the reopening of Yosemite National Park on May 18, as thousands of unmasked visitors visited the Wyoming park.
Alaska will open houses of worship on May 22, but other states' churches remain closed, as the reopening of religious services has been a point of contention in some states. Some New Jersey churches have announced plans to reopen in violation of Gov. Phil Murphy’s prohibitions.
Continue reading to find out the status of your state’s reopening plans.
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Now in the second phase of openings, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey amended the safer-at-home order, allowing fitness centers, hair and nail salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlors to open their doors along with bars and eateries on May 11. However, bars and restaurants have had to adhere to certain Alabama Department of Public Health restrictions, including no large waiting lines at entrances to avoid customers standing close together. Larger event gatherings, including concerts and sporting events, remain barred until further notice.
[Pictured: A mechanic waits for customers in Montgomery, Alabama.]
On May 22, houses of worship in Alaska will open their doors. With some of the fewest reported COVID-19 cases in the isolated state surrounded by water, the government began reopening businesses as early as April 24. As of May 8, Gov. Mike Dunleavy allowed retail stores, bars, restaurants, and fitness businesses to open doors for the second phase of openings. Dunleavy said officials would closely follow any reported COVID-19 cases, tightening restrictions if necessary.
[Pictured: A social-distancing guide sticker marks six feet.]
Major league sporting events—minus thousands of spectators—are now allowed in Arizona, with Gov. Doug Ducey permitting the NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL to resume scheduled events as of May 16. Between May 4–13, retail stores, salons, barbershops, and restaurants reopened in the Grand Canyon State, along with fitness centers and community pools. The executive stay-at-home order issued by the governor lifted on May 15.
[Pictured: A sign at the clubhouse during the final round of the Scottsdale Arizona open.]
Free-standing bars in Arkansas will open doors May 26, said Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who allowed gatherings of 50 or less to enter casinos, theaters, and stadiums on May 18. If there are no new reported cases of COVID-19 after reopenings, the governor said eateries could extend their capacity up to 67%. By May 22, community pools in Arkansas will reopen for public use.
[Pictured: Barricade tape cordons off seating prior to a performance in Fort Smith, Arkansas.]
Some California businesses are fighting to reopen since seeing 20% unemployment rates in parts of the Golden State. While Sacramento officials are loosening restrictions on small firms and restaurants on May 22, Gov. Gavin Newsom said spectator-free sporting events would not take place until June. As restrictions vary by region, San Diego is speeding up its second phase of reopenings—reportedly pushing restaurant and retail openings—while Los Angeles allowed public access to beaches May 13.
[Pictured: Venice Beach reopens for limited activities.]
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While restaurant reopening restrictions remain in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis said officials would have more answers on May 25. The “new normal” will include strict guidelines, including employees submitting to daily temperature checks and wearing face masks and gloves when serving customers. Outdoor signs at restaurants will note anyone with COVID-19 symptoms are not allowed to enter.
[Pictured: A drive-in theater in Montrose, Colorado, follows social-distancing guidelines.]
The May 20 reopening of Connecticut retail and restaurants saw little customer activity even though Gov. Ned Lamont reports a decline in COVID-19 cases and an increase in daily testing. Temporary zoning rules now allow for outside dining at restaurants that were previously serving take-out only. Unlike many states that have opened up hair salons and barbershops, Connecticut is keeping cosmetologist commerce closed until June 1.
[Pictured: People lunch at a cafe in Stamford, Connecticut.]
On May 22, Delaware locals will finally feel their feet in the sand with beaches opening up before Memorial Day. Meanwhile, a Delaware stay-at-home order remains in effect until May 31, but curbside pickup and appointment-only business continues. Restaurants and retailers can open doors on June 1, only allowing 30% customer capacity. Barbershops and hair salons are only serving essential workers until further notice.
[Pictured: A road sign reminder for residents.]
The Sunshine State’s phase-one reopening of fitness centers, malls, barbershops, and more has locals out and about since May 18. Passenger screenings will cease June 1 at the Key West International Airport, and checkpoints on major highways to the Florida Keys will also lift. Since the limited-restriction reopening of state parks and some beaches in May, COVID-19 cases continue to rise, with 47,471 statewide cases reported on May 20 compared to the May 1 total of 34,728 infections.
[Pictured: Guests pose at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk.]
Like Florida, Georgia has had less-restrictive openings in place, permitting fitness centers, massage therapists, barbershops, and hair salons to open their doors at the end of April. According to CNN, business owners report a slow but steady rise in commerce as new COVID-19 cases trend “unsteadily downward,” though the state is under scrutiny for reported COVID-19 data numbers. The stay-at-home order for Peach State locals was lifted April 30, but is in effect until June 12 for elderly citizens.
[Pictured: A barber prepares his chair in Atlanta.]
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Like Alaska, the island of Hawaii has had some of the lowest COVID-19 deaths and plans to begin a four-stage reopening plan in June, according to Gov. David Ige. Churches, eateries, fitness centers, theaters, museums, and hair salons and barbershops will open based on certain criteria. Since the beginning of May, low-risk commerce including car washes, floral shops, car dealerships, pet grooming, and retail and repair businesses have reopened; however, the tourism industry has come to a halt, with thousands of locals unemployed.
[Pictured: A view of empty streets in Waikiki.]
While large venues, including movie theaters and sporting arenas, remain closed in the Gem State, Idaho Gov. Brad Little authorized the second phase of reopening May 16, allowing restaurants to fill up to 50% capacity. Recreational facilities, fitness centers, hair salons, and barbershops are also open with strict social-distancing requirements. Businesses in the state report happy customers and strong commerce, with some Washingtonians crossing state lines for a haircut.
[Pictured: A woman cuts hair in a reopened salon.]
Though the Prairie State reports more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases and 4,525 deaths as of May 20, it still plans to begin the third phase of reopening May 29. At month’s end, state parks will reopen, 10-person gatherings are permitted, and golfers can enjoy the game in foursomes, with one golfer per cart. Meanwhile, Gov. J.B. Pritzker quashed his threat to charge small-business owners, who violated a commerce closure mandate, on May 20. Additionally, the Illinois State Police announced they will not arrest and jail for violating stay-at-home mandates but encourage citizens to obey emergency orders.
[Pictured: A mask-wearing lion statue stands guard at The Art Institute of Chicago.]
The Hoosier State will allow gatherings of up to 100 people on May 22, two days before the previously announced May 24 third-phase reopening. Locals have frequented restaurants and bars at an allowable 50% capacity since May 11, as well as hair salons, tattoo parlors, and nail salons by appointment only. While contact sports remain barred, tennis, baseball, and basketball courts will also reopen May 22, and the fourth phase of reopenings is possibly expected by June 14.
[Pictured: Customers dine at a restaurant in Chesterton.]
Though still restricted, large-scale venues including museums, theaters, zoos, and wedding halls will reopen May 22. Gov. Kim Reynolds also authorized bars to open up to 50% capacity on May 28. The governor permitted restaurants, retail, and fitness centers to open at the same capacity May 1. Statewide high school baseball and softball schedules can resume June 1; however, casinos and amusement parks remain closed until further notice.
[Pictured: A sign at a playground in Iowa City directs people to the city’s website.]
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Minus bars, nightclubs, and swimming areas, the second phase of reopening in the Sunflower State starts May 22, with Gov. Laura Kelly allowing all businesses, including bowling alleys and state-owned casinos, to commence as well as social gatherings of up to 15 people. Adult clubs and swimming pools will reopen during the third phase that begins June 8.
[Pictured: A sign at a closed theater in Overland Park.]
With nonessential businesses opening May 20 and restaurant openings slated to commence May 22, Gov. Andy Beshear urges citizens to wear safety masks. Though courts begin on a limited basis June 1, serious social-distancing rules will alter the process that has been shut down for two months. Mandates include remote hearings only unless a judge requests an in-person hearing; and with a limited 50% employee capacity, many court employees will continue to work remotely.
[Pictured: The Louisville Slugger Plant reopens in Kentucky.]
According to Gov. John Bel Edwards, who ended the state’s stay-at-home order on May 15, the second phase of reopening in Louisiana begins in early June. Following the White House plan to reopen, among other mandates, Edwards encourages employees to work remotely if possible and further prohibits any visitations to senior care facilities. Fitness centers and bars will reopen with strict social-distancing rules in place during phase two.
[Pictured: A restaurant in New Orleans' French Quarter reopens.]
With a stay-at-home order in place until May 31, restrictions vary by region in Maine with barbershops, hair salons, and pet grooming facilities allowed to open May 1. Maine saw a significant single-day spike of 78 COVID-19 cases on May 20, with officials gravely concerned over the data that reports a significant rise of infection in immigrant communities. Meanwhile, in Portland, business owners are urging Gov. Janet Mills to mandate out-of-state visitors abide by the 14-day quarantine rule.
[Pictured: Park visitors practice social distancing in Portland.]
On May 19, Maryland saw a severe spike in COVID-19 cases less than a week after reopening retail stores, houses of worship, and hair salons on May 15. Since the reported spike, Gov. Larry Hogan is pushing for more statewide testing, as Maryland remains in a state of emergency. Meanwhile, child care centers that were only open to essential workers are now open for employees who are returning to some phase-one business openings.
[Pictured: An MTA employee cleans the handrail of an escalator in Baltimore.]
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For phase-one reopening, Massachusetts allowed factories and construction sites to resume activity the week of May 18 and proposed permitting haircuts the week of May 25. During phase two by mid-June, the Bay State reports it will reopen restaurants and playgrounds, and a few weeks after will allow bars and museums to open. Gov. Charlie Baker said each phase will last at least three weeks based on citizen health statistics and newly reported COVID-19 hospitalizations.
[Pictured: A person bikes down Commercial Street in Provincetown.]
On May 18, a new executive order allowed eateries and bars to open at a 50% capacity as long as servers wear face masks and customers practice six-feet social distancing. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer executed a stay-at-home order until May 28, reporting that gatherings of up to 10 people could be allowed after. The May 22 opening of eateries and some small business starts up stage four of the governor’s six-step reopening strategy.
[Pictured: An auto worker finishes a shift in Warren, Michigan.]
Bars and restaurants will reopen in June, according to Gov. Tim Walz, who is receiving backlash from houses of worship not permitted to commence weekly ceremonies. Catholic and Lutheran leaders readily admit they will defy the executive order and resume business June 1 when other businesses open. If respective businesses, including tattoo parlors and hair and nail salons, follow strict COVID-19 prevention guidelines, they also will be allowed to open June 1.
[Pictured: A shopper visits the reopened Rosedale Center in Minneapolis.]
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves outlined a two-week plan for reopening the state beginning April 27 that would allow most retail businesses to resume commerce. The Hospitality State will reopen casinos on May 21, ahead of Memorial Day Weekend—one of the first states to permit gaming again. Bars and movie theaters are among the only businesses not open in Mississippi.
[Pictured: A customer follows safe-distance guidelines.]
The “Show Me Strong Recovery Plan” went into effect May 4, allowing most retail stores, restaurants, gyms, and churches to reopen under social-distancing guidelines. Missouri is one of only a few states to allow concert venues and sports stadiums to reopen, with a youth baseball tournament held in St. Louis drawing national attention. There is no restriction to the size of gatherings, as long as social-distancing guidelines are followed.
[Pictured: Union Station in blue to support health care workers in Kansas City.]
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Gov. Steve Bullock began lifting restrictions statewide on April 27 as most businesses were permitted to reopen. Bars and restaurants resumed in-house service May 4, and Montana permitted schools to reopen on a district-by-district basis as of May 7. Idaho is the only other state to allow schools to reopen. The state will enter Phase II of its reopening plan on June 1, increasing capacity at bars, gyms, and restaurants to 75%.
[Pictured: A sign announces reopening in Bozeman.]
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced he would allow a number of businesses, including dine-in restaurants, to reopen May 4 in a majority of the state. Churches were also permitted to congregate with social-distancing rules, while bars and movie theaters will stay closed until the end of the month. Youth sports leagues will resume playing on June 1 under Nebraska’s plan.
[Pictured: An employee serves a drive-through customer.]
Nevada began easing restrictions on May 1, while a wide-ranging reopening began May 9 with restaurants, salons, and cannabis retailers. Casinos were not included in the state’s first phase of reopening, and although no date has been set, many resorts are taking reservations for June 1.
[Pictured: A server follows social-distancing guidelines in Las Vegas.]
New Hampshire began its reopening on May 11, with salons, golf courses, and retail stores resuming business under strict social-distancing guidelines. Restaurants were allowed to offer outdoor dining as of May 18, with tables at least six feet apart. Gyms and bars remain closed, although Gov. Chris Sununu is pushing to have the state’s beaches open to the public on June 1.
[Pictured: A salon in Portsmouth reopens.]
Much of New Jersey remains shuttered under Gov. Phil Murphy’s “Road Back” plan, which relies on the state reaching certain benchmarks instead of dates. State parks and golf courses were allowed to begin reopening May 2, while restaurants are currently limited to curbside pickup. Salons, bars, and retail stores are closed, though Murphy announced May 19 that in-person car sales could resume May 20.
[Pictured: People walk the boardwalk in Seaside Heights.]
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Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham began allowing some nonessential retailers to offer curbside pickup as of May 1. On May 16, they were permitted to let customers in at 25% capacity, while dine-in services, salons, and gyms remain closed. Churches can operate at 10% capacity, while the state has mandated the wearing of masks in all public places.
[Pictured: A sign announces a curfew near the Navajo Nation community of Casamero Lake.]
New York's first phase of reopening began May 15 and included the Mohawk Valley, Central New York, North Country, Southern Tier, and the Finger Lakes. The Capital Region began its reopening May 20. In its first phase, businesses in manufacturing, wholesale supply, and construction are able to reopen. Select retail pick-up services are also permitted.
[Pictured: Brooklyn park-goers practice social distancing.]
Retail businesses were allowed to begin reopening at limited capacity beginning May 8, though much of the state remains shuttered. Dine-in service at restaurants, bars, and salons remain closed until May 22, when Gov. Roy Cooper announced the state will enter Phase II of the three-part plan. Phase II lifts North Carolina’s stay-at-home order and allows churches to resume services.
[Pictured: Passengers walk through an airport terminal in Charlotte.]
A majority of North Dakota is open for business, with Gov. Doug Burgum allowing retail stores, restaurants, salons, and bars to begin reopening May 1. Campgrounds and marinas followed May 9, while movie theaters are allowed to operate at 20% capacity. Burgum also said schools could begin allowing students for summer sessions and certain programs beginning June 1.
[Pictured: A sign welcomes patrons.]
Although a statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect until May 29, Ohio began its phased reopening with same-day health care services on May 1. Construction and manufacturing followed a few days later, while retail stores, restaurants, and personal-care businesses were up and running by May 15 under certain guidelines. Gyms and fitness centers are slated to reopen May 26, along with municipal pools.
[Pictured: A restaurant reopens with social distancing in Cincinnati.]
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Oklahoma began easing restrictions on April 24 as part of a three-phase plan, allowing retail stores and personal-care businesses to reopen. Gov. Kevin Stitt never issued a stay-at-home order during the pandemic and announced on May 15 that the state was entering Phase II, which included bars and organized sports. Weddings, funerals, and church services are also allowed under the state’s social-distancing guidelines.
[Pictured: An owner stands by his reopened cafe in Stillwater.]
Oregon began its reopening plan on May 15, with 26 counties approved to open retail businesses and offer dine-in services at restaurants and bars. Select shopping malls were also permitted to resume business, while there is a 21-day monitoring period before counties can enter Phase II. Phase I did not include a number of counties around Portland, which are hoping to begin Phase I before the end of the month.
[Pictured: Masked food shoppers move through the aisles.]
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf began easing restrictions on state parks, golf courses, and campgrounds on May 1. The state is employing a color-coded reopening system, with 37 of the state’s 67 counties moving from red to yellow as of May 15, and stay-at-home orders extended until June 4 in red areas. Restaurants are still limited to curbside pickup, while salons and bars remain closed throughout the state.
[Pictured: A man walks by a SEPTA Station in Philadelphia.]
Gov. Gina Raimondo lifted the state’s stay-at-home order effective May 8, paving the way for state parks and certain retailers to resume business May 9. Restaurants began offering outdoor dining as of May 18 as a continuation of Phase I. Bars, nightclubs, salons, and movie theaters all remain closed, though the governor announced a new smartphone app to help track the virus and the state’s reopening measures.
[Pictured: Safety measures in place at a book store in Cranston, Rhode Island.]
South Carolina began easing restrictions in April, while Gov. Henry McMaster’s work-or-home order expired May 4. Restaurants returned to dine-in service at 50% capacity as of May 11, while gyms, salons, and public pools resumed operations on May 18. McMaster announced plans to allow amusement parks and other tourist attractions to reopen May 22.
[Pictured: Employees assist customers at the Apple Store in Charleston.]
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Gov. Kristi Noem never issued a stay-at-home order during the pandemic and announced her “Back to Normal” plan on April 28. The plan served as a reopening guide for those areas that did impose restrictions on businesses. On May 8, the governor threatened to sue two Native American tribes in response to their putting up roadblocks leading into their lands.
[Pictured: A family poses at Mount Rushmore.]
Tennessee began Phase I of its reopening plan on April 27, with restaurants resuming business at 50% capacity in most of the state’s counties. Gyms followed on May 1, while salons and barbershops began taking patrons May 6. A number of counties, including Knoxville-Knox County, have progressed quickly in Phase I, pushing up the date for Phase II reopening to May 26.
[Pictured: A restaurant reopens at restricted capacity in Nashville.]
Although some retail operations were permitted to reopen for curbside service on April 24, Texas’ first phase began May 1. Full retail, movie theaters, libraries, and museums opened at 25% capacity at the turn of the month, while gyms, salons, and restaurants were up and running by May 8. Phase II of Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening, which includes bars, rodeos and bowling alleys, is set to begin May 22.
[Pictured: Owners stand in the window of their reopened restaurant in El Paso.]
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert never issued a statewide stay-at-home order and lifted a large majority of restrictions on businesses as of May 1. Restaurants, gyms, and salons were all allowed to reopen under strict social-distancing guidelines, although the governor advised certain businesses to remain closed.
[Pictured: Hikers hit the trail at reopened Zion National Park in Springdale.]
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott began relaxing restrictions on April 20, allowing certain construction, outdoor business, and outdoor retail to resume April 27. In-person retail shopping began May 18, while hotels and campgrounds will be allowed to operate under certain restrictions over Memorial Day Weekend. Gyms, bars, dine-in restaurants, and personal-care businesses remain closed statewide.
[Pictured: A group of teenagers skip stones at sunset in Charlotte, Vermont.]
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Phase I of Virginia’s reopening began May 15, but was limited to counties in the southern part of the state. Outdoor seating at restaurants and retail businesses could resume operations under strict guidelines, while salons could begin appointments. The counties around the nation’s capital have delayed any reopening efforts until May 28, while gyms and bars remain closed statewide.
[Pictured: A business advertises a Memorial Day Sale in Arlington, Virginia.]
One of the first and hardest-hit states, Washington began Phase I of reopening with state parks and golf courses on May 5. Gov. Jay Inslee extended his stay-at-home order until May 31 for the most affected areas, while 22 of the state’s 39 counties have met guidelines to begin the next phase of reopening as of May 19. Restaurants and retail stores are eligible to begin business again, while gyms, bars, salons, and movie theaters remain closed.
[Pictured: A park ranger at Saint Edward State Park opens the gates in Kenmore.]
Gov. Jim Justice outlined a six-week reopening plan on April 27. It started with outdoor dining at restaurants, salons, and churches on May 4. West Virginia, the final state to report a case of COVID-19 on March 17, reopened fishing businesses May 15, while indoor dining, shopping malls, and campgrounds are set to resume May 21. Bars, campgrounds, and museums will wait until May 26.
[Pictured: A sign welcomes patrons.]
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers allowed state parks to reopen May 1, while certain retail stores began reopening May 11. Evers attempted to extend his stay-at-home order to May 26, but was overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court on May 13, abandoning plans for a statewide reopening and instead leaving plans to local authorities. While much of the state has allowed bars, salons, and movie theaters to serve patrons, larger areas like Milwaukee are moving more cautiously.
[Pictured: Friends gather at a bar in Hudson, Wisconsin.]
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon began rolling back restrictions on hair salons and gyms beginning May 1, while restaurants, movie theaters, and bars were allowed to reopen on May 15 under strict social-distancing guidelines. Public gatherings smaller than 25 people are also being permitted, while the reopening of Yellowstone Park on May 18 caused a surge of unmasked visitors.
[Pictured: Tourists take pictures of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.]
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