The city of Indianapolis and the Marion County Health Department have updated plans for businesses to reopen. Mayor Joe Hogsett says the city and county will begin implementing portions of Stage 3 of the state’s Back on Track Plan as early as Friday.
The mayor says beginning Friday, places of worship can resume indoor service at 50% capacity with the provision that attendees engage in social distancing and wear face coverings. There will be no cap on outdoor services that also utilize social distancing.
Beginning June 1, the cap on public gatherings will increase from 25 people to 50. Restaurants will be able to serve dine-in patrons, both indoors and outdoors, at 50% capacity as long as social distancing policies remain in effect and staff wear personal protective equipment.
Additionally, personal service businesses such as salons, spas and tattoo parlors, may resume by appointment only with PPE worn by all staff and all patrons.
Gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity with social distancing and sanitation requirements. Pools can also reopen at 50% capacity and indoor facilities will require staff to wear face coverings.
The mayor says tennis courts, basketball courts and non-contact sports fields may reopen, according to the city.
Shopping malls and non-essential retail businesses can further open to 75% capacity with the same social distancing guidelines in place.
Hogsett says, in accordance with state guidelines, the city and county will not open movie theaters, live performance venues, tourism and cultural venues, as well as bowling alleys, arcades and bars.
“The very best way you can protect others from COVID-19 is by wearing a face covering while in public,” said Hogsett. “When you see someone with a mask, they aren’t wearing it for themselves; they’re wearing it for you. It is why from the start, our message has been simple: We are in this together, but only if we commit to protecting one another when we take these first steps back into a daily normal routine.”
Hogsett also announced a city-wide initiative to provide easy access to face masks. The city has opened a website for citizens to request washable, reusable masks for themselves and family members. The mayor says the goal is to begin delivering the masks within the next 30 days.
“We’ve earned these steps to reopen, but now we must do our part to keep Indianapolis open.”
Hogsett explained the changes during a virtual news conference with reporters.
Hogsett says the best way to protect others from COVID-19 is by wearing a face covering in public.