Inslee increases occupancy for outdoor venues to 50%

Ted S. Warren

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, center, reacts after he signed a bill into law in Tukwila, Wash., Tuesday, May 4, 2021, that levies a new capital gains tax on high profit stocks, bonds and other assets for some residents of Washington state.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — In light of encouraging COVID-19 metrics and vaccination rates in Washington state, Governor Jay Inslee announced updates to state guidance that will allow greater occupancy at outdoor venues.

According to a release issued by the Governor’s office on Wednesday, the occupancy percentage for outdoor venues hosting spectator events has now doubled from 25% to 50%. However, the state is keeping its maximum cap of 9,000 people in place to avoid the possibility of superspreader events occurring at these events.

Outdoor concerts, religious gatherings, sporting events and other applicable spectator events are now going to be more accessible throughout the state with limits opened up further.

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Governor Inslee made one other amendment to rules for spectator events. Going forward, these locations will not be required to create a separate entrance/exit for vaccinated attendees. Previously, events were expected to have vaccinated people use one entrance while non-vaccinated people use a different one. That mostly applied to larger events such as professional sporting events. It was a requirement that was difficult for businesses and smaller establishments to enforce due to a lack of space/facilities.

The release by Gov. Inslee included a reminder about current guidance for applicable events:

As a reminder of our current guidance, spectator events includes stadiums, motorsports racetracks, rodeos, and similar venues with ticketed individual designated seating capability. Each facility must have a plan for handling congestion to reduce crowding at entrance and exits, parking facilities, stairs and elevators, and any areas where lines form. In unvaccinated sections, tickets may be sold in groups of up to 15. No social distancing is required for members of the same group. Each group of up to 15 spectators must be 6 feet away from other groups unless they’re seated in a vaccinated only section.

If you would like to learn more about Washington state’s current spectator guidance, click here.


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