Rhode Island

Phase 2 of RI's Reopening Plan on Track for June 1, Raimondo Says

Until the phase begins, Phase 1 executive orders are being extended

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Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Friday that Phase 2 of Rhode Island's reopening plan is on track to begin June 1.

During her daily news conference, the governor said until the second phase begins, she is extending Phase 1 executive orders, set to expire Friday, until June 1.

The goal in Phase 2 is to get people back to work safely, the governor said.

An important change in the phase will be that social gatherings will increase to 15 people, she said.

Domestic travel restrictions will be relaxed but the 14-day quarantine will still stand for residents returning to Rhode Island from an area still under stay-at-home restrictions.

Raimondo announced earlier in the week that East Matunuck and Scarborough state beaches, as well as state parks, would reopen in time for Memorial Day with restrictions in place. The restrictions include limited parking spots, no lifeguards on duty, no concessions and no access to bathrooms or changing rooms, she said.

In Phase 2, all state parks and beaches will open with capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions, she said. There will not be restrictions on parking, lifeguards will be on duty and concessions and bathrooms and changing rooms will be able at that time.

In an effort to get more Rhode Islanders back to work, the governor said office-based businesses can allow up to 33% of their workforce to return, but working from home is still encouraged.

Child care services will also resume June 1, she said.

In Phase 2, restaurants will be allowed to offer indoor dining at 50% capacity. They are already allowed to offer outdoor dining.

Other businesses that will be allowed to reopen with strict restrictions and cleaning protocols in place include hair salons, barbershops, braiders, nail salons, waxing, tanning, massage and tattoo services.

Also allowed to reopen in Phase 2 with restrictions will be gyms, fitness studios, and small group fitness classes, Raimondo said.

Concerts will not be allowed in the next phase but the governor said other entertainment and recreation activities like zoos, public gardens and historical sites will be allowed "to resume on a limited basis."

Malls will also be allowed to reopen with restrictions.

State health officials reported 23 new coronavirus-related deaths on Friday for a total of 579. There were 170 new cases of the virus for a total of 13,736 cases statewide.

"We have to remember that this virus is taking a very real toll on Rhode Islanders," the governor said.

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