Utah could start lifting COVID-19 restrictions this week

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SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Gary Herbert this week is expected to make a formal recommendation to start lifting some restrictions on businesses and re-opening parts of the state closed by COVID-19.

Under his “Utah Leads Together 2.0” plan, the state will move from a “red” to “orange” phase, which triggers a phased-in approach to re-opening things from restaurants to entertainment venues to barbers and salons. The decision to move to a lower risk category will be made by the governor, who said he will let data decide when restrictions start easing.

“This phased approach of red, orange, yellow and green is very prudent,” state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said at a briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday.

Dr. Dunn said she was included in making the recommendations for each of the phases, which sets restrictions at different levels for various aspects of Utah’s economic life.

“It is a very slow approach, so when we move from red to orange, life does not go back to pre-COVID-19 ways. There are a lot of restrictions that are placed on businesses opening to ensure social distancing and ensure prevention of COVID-19 spread,” she said in response to a question about it from FOX 13.

Under the plan, when Utah moves from red to orange, business restrictions include:

  • Restaurants can allow dine-in service, but tables must be six-feet apart and employees must wear masks and adhere to strict cleaning guidelines.
  • Office workers will be encouraged to continue to work from home. If a business necessitates on-site work, they must monitor for symptoms and employee well-being.
  • Personal services like barbers and salons can re-open, but both stylist and customer must wear facemasks and appointments must be stagged to ensure proper cleaning (no walk-in appointments would be allowed). Some services, like waxing, piercings and beard trims would not be allowed.
  • Grocery stores must still enforce social distancing and employees must wear face masks.
  • Some entertainment venues like theatres…