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When is Arizona reopening? Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 restrictions

For the second-straight week, Gov. Ducey made big announcements on what industries could reopen in the state and when.

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey announced at a press conference on Tuesday that his "Stay Home, Stay Heathy, Stay Connected" order, which includes Arizona's stay-at-home order, will expire on May 15. 

Picking up its place is a new order titled, "Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger." The order says vulnerable individuals should remain home, Arizonans should continue to observe physical distancing and in-person visits to nursing homes remain prohibited.

Dine-in restaurants resumed services on Monday and last week, retail stores, salons and barbershops were allowed to begin reopening. 

Ducey announced Tuesday that beginning Wednesday May 13, gyms and pools may reopen and after May 15, professional sports may resume without fans in the state.

Ducey shut down bars and suspended restaurants from providing dine-in services on March 19.

When is Arizona reopening?

Ducey extended the state's stay-at-home order during a press conference on April 29, one day before his stay-at-home order was set to expire. 

The date is now through May 15. Ducey said that date could be extended if needed.

This means Arizonans should limit their time away from home except for essential activities or if they work in an essential industry.

However, during his press conference last Wednesday, Ducey outlined some plans for reopening the Arizona economy in stages. 

First, beginning May 1, hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and dental offices were able to resume elective surgeries as long as they meet capacity, safety and testing requirements.

Beginning today, May 4, retail stores selling goods are allowed to open voluntarily. The stores can sell goods through delivery, window, walk-up or drive-through services, curbside delivery or appointment if they follow proper sanitation and physical distancing measures.

On Friday, May 8, those stores can partially open to customers as long as the shops provide social distancing services.

Ducey outlined guidelines for those stores and store managers here. 

When are Arizona restaurants opening?

First, many Arizona restaurants have still been open for carryout or delivery services, but dine-in services at any restaurants, bars, coffee shops, fast food restaurants, etc. has been prohibited.

Gov. Ducey announced in a press conference Monday that dine-in restaurants can reopen beginning Monday, May 11

There must be physical distancing inside these establishments.

When will gyms and movie theaters reopen?

The governor announced on Tuesday that gyms can begin reopening on Wednesday, May 13 and they must implement public health protections and follow CDC guidelines. 

Movie theaters can begin reopening beginning Saturday, May 16, after the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected" order expires. 

When will salons and barbershops in Arizona reopen?

Ducey announced in his press conference Monday that starting Friday, May 8, barbers and salons may reopen. There will be reduced capacity and occupancy and enhanced sanitation protocols as well as physical distancing.

When can people go to church again?

While Ducey's order allows for activities practicing the freedom of speech and religion, it does say that physical distancing must be followed.

Federal guidelines discourage gatherings of 10 or more people and Ducey has said the same, meaning in-person church services are not very feasible. Ducey commended many church leaders on their ability to take their services virtual or find other unique ways to follow distancing rules. 

What if businesses disregard Ducey's order?

When asked last Wednesday about business owners who might defy the order, the governor didn't mince words when speaking about restaurant and bar owners.

“For those who own an establishment and are publicly going to [flout] the order, you are playing with your liquor license,” Ducey said before adding, “Don’t do that.”

Ducey also said his order is enforceable by law and a violation is a $2,500 fine and up to six months in jail. 

Some Arizona sheriffs have said they do not plan to arrest or fine people violating the governor's order, including Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb

Is the stay-at-home order constitutional?

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution allows the states to retain the rights for protecting the health and welfare of their citizens.

What state law provides is that during a health emergency – which includes a pandemic – where the governor declares an emergency, the governor now has the right to enforce rules like shutdowns or even mandatory quarantines or mandatory vaccinations. 

Gov. Doug Ducey declared a public health emergency in Arizona on March 11.

These are powers the governor would not have in the absence of an emergency.

Read more on this topic here.

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