Inslee statement on economic reopening

Inslee statement on upcoming economic reopening

Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today ahead of Washington’s upcoming June 30 reopening for individuals and businesses preparing to return to normal capacity and operations.

“Washington has come a long way since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country was found in our state January 2020, and that is in no small part due to Washingtonians’ dedication and resilience in protecting themselves and their communities throughout the pandemic.

“Because folks listened to science and stayed home to stay healthy, wore masks and got vaccinated, we can now safely fully re-open our state’s economy and cultural centers after 15 long months. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m proud of how Washingtonians came together, persevered and sacrificed to fight this virus, and now we’re finally in a place that is safe enough to end this chapter.

“Even though Wednesday marks a new stage in our continued efforts to defeat this pandemic, we still have work to do. Continued success depends on everyone getting vaccinated and encouraging any loved one who has not yet received this lifesaving vaccine to do so, and quickly.

“Let’s keep it up, Washington – get vaccinated and stay safe.”

Secretary of Health Umair Shah, MD, MPH, thanked Washingtonians for their dedication to personal and community safety, but emphasized that the work to defeat the COVID-19 virus is not done.

"Washington was one of the first in the country to begin the fight against COVID-19. Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of everyone in the state we have one of the most effective responses in the nation. I am so grateful for our partners in public health, health care, government, businesses and communities across the state, as well as the public,” Shah said. “Your tireless efforts have saved lives and made reopening possible. While this step forward is exciting, it does not mean the virus is gone or our work is over. Vaccination, testing and precautions like wearing masks if you are unvaccinated will be needed more than ever as businesses try to resume normal operations. If you have been waiting to get vaccinated, do it now in order to safely enjoy reopening and protect your loved ones and people around you."

Commerce Director Lisa Brown praised the resilience of Washington’s business community and emphasized the tie between economic recovery and continued increase of vaccination rates.

“We know our businesses are deeply dedicated to reopening safely and ensuring the health of their employees and customers. And Commerce remains committed to a strong economic recovery across all our communities – particularly those that were hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic,” Brown said. “But our economic recovery remains tied to our success fighting COVID-19. We hope this milestone inspires anyone who can get their vaccine but hasn’t done so yet to take that important step and help us become more resilient now and into the future.”

Indoor and outdoor guidance effective June 30

Effective 12:01 AM on June 30, all industry sectors previously covered by guidance in the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery or the Safe Start Reopening Plan may return to usual capacity and operations, with limited exceptions for large indoor events (any event with more than 10,000 simultaneous participants in an indoor, enclosed space.)

Reopening guidance:

  • Vaccine verification/negative testing: Recommended but not required for large indoor and outdoor events
  • Capacity limitations: No restrictions in restaurants, bars, stores, businesses, theaters etc. (except large indoor events)
  • Physical distancing: No requirements
  • Facial coverings: Not required for vaccinated individuals, unless required by individual business
  • Travelers: Follow CDC recommendations

*Some exceptions will include schools and childcare centers that will continue to have some facial coverings and physical distancing requirements.

Requirements for places of employment issued by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries have been updated here. This resource continues to detail options for fully vaccinated workers to go without a mask, methods for verification of worker vaccination status, choices workers have to continue to mask up and other updated guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the job and help employers meet their obligations to provide a safe and healthy workplace.

Background: Inslee announces statewide reopening date of June 30 and short-term statewide move to Phase 3

On Wednesday, June 30 and Thursday, July 1, the governor will participate in three community-led celebrations to acknowledge and celebrate end to current COVID restrictions. Inslee will travel to Tacoma, Spokane and Seattle to celebrate with community and business leaders, elected officials and Washington heroes who helped us through the COVID pandemic.