“When is my state reopening?” — You’ve probably asked yourself that question every day since the coronavirus lockdown began. Staying at home to protect against Covid19 infection might have seemed a great idea at the start. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t like more time to be with family or catch up on some reading?
But soon, the reality of stay-at-home orders hit hard. Struggling to pay debts because there’s no income, living off unemployment benefits, and homeschooling the kids have become the new norm. It’s no surprise that stress, anxiety, isolation, and cabin fever are all taking their toll on your mental health. So which states are reopening quickest?
Getting back to life before the Covid-19 pandemic hit is going to be a gradual process. States will start to reopen gradually in May and June, but it’s going to take time. Even when states open, social distancing and wearing face masks for Covid-19 protection is here to stay for a long time.
This article answers the burning question on your mind just now — which states are reopening soon?
Plans to Reopen States
There’s no nationwide plan to reopen all states at once. President Trump outlined a three-phased reopening plan for lifting Covid-19 restrictions. Based on the plan’s criteria, each state governor decides when lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Here’s a brief overview of the progression in which states are reopening starting in May and June:
- Phase One — Gatherings are allowed, but no larger than ten people with strict social distancing measures in places. Non-essential travel is not recommended. Vulnerable persons should continue to follow stay-at-home orders.
- Phase Two — Public gatherings are restricted to 50 persons, and social distancing is recommended. Travel for non-essential things is allowed.
- Phase Three — Life almost returns to pre-coronavirus times. However, at-risk persons should continue to practice social distancing.
States that are Reopening in May and June
Below, you’ll find a list of all states and when they plan to reopen. Of course, things can change daily when it comes to the coronavirus. For example, a spike in new cases or deaths could see some states postpone the reopening dates.
As of the start of May, much of the state is already open. It’s planned that by May 15, most restrictions will be lifted.
The state started its second phase on May 8 with restaurants, bars, and gyms allowed to open at a reduced capacity — restaurants at 50% and bars and gyms at 25%. Religious gatherings are resumed, and up to 50 members can attend. Physical distancing remains in place.
The date when Arizona starts to lift lockdown restrictions is May 8. From this time, retail stores, hairdressing salons, and other businesses can open — as long as physical distancing is in place. Restaurants can reopen starting May 12.
As with many states, Arkansas started to reopen for business at the start of May. Restaurants and similar places can open for business from May 11, but limited to one-third of capacity and groups of up to 10 persons.
Many stores in California will be allowed to reopen starting from May 8. However, stay-at-home orders are still in place, and wearing face masks in public will be mandatory throughout the summer. There is no date set when large gatherings will be allowed.
Colorado has adopted a “safer-at-home” strategy until May 27 to help reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus. However, most businesses and hospitals have reopened with physical distancing measures in place.
Businesses in Connecticut won’t reopen until May 20, with mandatory stay-at-home orders in place until then. Connecticut has joined forces with New York, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Massachusetts to coordinate its reopening strategy to kick start the economy.
Lockdown orders won’t be lifted until May 15; however, this date may change depending on reported cases of Covid-19. Even when the state reopens, as with other states, face covering, physical distancing, and restrictions on the size of gatherings will remain in force.
District of Columbia
Washington DC looks set to lift some coronavirus restrictions on May 15.
Most Florida businesses reopened on May 4.
The majority of businesses — restaurants, salons, fitness centers — have been open in Georgia since April 24. However, there is no date when music venues will reopen. Stay-at-home orders are still in place for at-risk persons until June 12.
A limited number of businesses in Hawaii reopened on May 7 with an emphasis on social distancing. Lockdown orders were changed to “safer-at-home” recommendations, and other restrictions will be gradually phased out.
Many restrictions in Idaho have already been lifted.
Stay-at-home orders are in force until May 31. However, you can leave home for essential activities. It seems likely that most businesses won’t reopen until after the end of May.
Indiana is at phase two of getting life back to normal after the coronavirus pandemic. As part of reopening the economy, retail and commercial businesses can resume working, but only at a reduced capacity.
Iowa’s governor has already lifted many of the lockdown restrictions on businesses and churches — albeit at a reduced capacity. However, social distancing remains in force in most places.
Kansas plans to start phase two of lifting Covid-19 restrictions on May 18. Until then, gyms, theaters, and bars will stay closed.
The governor in Kentucky has set out a few dates for reopening the state. Many businesses can resume working on May 11. However, retail stores and churches remain closed until May 20. If you want to visit a hair or beauty salon, you’ll have to wait until May 25.
Stay-at-home orders and lockdown restrictions are in force until May 15
From April 30 until May 31, “safer-at-home” orders are in force. However, most businesses and non-essential medical services are open with physical distancing measures in place. Wearing face masks is recommended.
There is no set reopening date for May or June in Maryland. Based on coronavirus data, gradual restrictions will be lifted to help prevent spikes in Covid-19 infections.
Many workplaces and businesses in Massachusetts won’t reopen until after May 18. This restriction includes gatherings of 10 persons or more. Stay-at-home orders are also mandatory until May 18.
May 15 is the date when Michigan state plans to reopen many of its workplaces. However, some outdoor activities are allowed as well as businesses that operate outdoors — for example, gardening services.
Many businesses have to remain closed, and stay-at-home orders continue in Minnesota until May 18. Some companies can have a limited operation as long as it doesn’t involve contact with customers. Elective surgeries are possible starting May 11.
The state of Mississippi is set to reopen on May 11, with many businesses being able to gradually return to work. Shelter-in-place orders remain for elderly people and at-risk individuals.
All businesses were able to resume operations in Missouri from May 3 or May 4, depending on the type of business. However, the 6-feet apart rule still applies to physical distancing, and many businesses have to operate at a reduced capacity.
According to reports, Montana businesses were already able to open on April 27, if they followed strict physical distancing laws. Many establishments, such as restaurants and bars, were then able to reopen on May 4. However, the possibility for businesses to start working again depends on its ability to enforce strict social distancing.
Restaurants and businesses were able to reopen on May 4 in Nebraska. However, state laws say that theaters and bars can only open on June 1.
From the start of May, many stores and restaurants were able to start working again in a limited capacity. However, stay-at-home orders remain in force until the middle of May. There’s no date in May, June, or beyond when the state plans to reopen casinos.
The state of New Hampshire is taking a cautious approach to its reopening schedule during the coronavirus outbreak. People have to stay at home until May 31. However, a phased reopening of many establishments started on May 4. Barbers, salons, and retail shops can reopen on May 11, provided that everyone wears facemasks. From May 18, restaurants can open, as long as they have outdoor seating.
New Jersey has not set a date in May or June when reopening will take place. Data on Covid-19 infections will determine when workplaces can start to open again. However, New Jersey is part of a coalition of other Northeastern states that want to have a coordinated state reopening.
Until May 15, stay-at-home orders remain in place. From May 16 onward, workplaces will gradually start to reopen when health and safety procedures are in place. However, already, some retail stores can offer curbside pickup.
New York was put on pause on March 22 and is only going to restart some aspects of commerce beginning May 15. Until that time, all non-essential businesses have to remain closed. Some parts of New York state may reopen sooner than other regions.
North Carolina will reopen the state in three phases that began on May 8. Phase two and phase three will happen when health data says that it’s safe to do so. Although stay-at-home orders remain, many workplaces can reopen.
As long as social distancing measures are in place, businesses and companies in North Dakota were able to reopen on May 1.
It may only be after May 12 when Ohio state starts to fully reopen. If businesses are to start working again, face coverings will have to be worn to protect citizens. The stay-at-home orders are in place until May 29.
Most businesses in Oklahoma have reopened if strict hygiene and social distancing practices are observed. There is no information on when bars will be open for business.
The state of Oregon hasn’t announced any date in May or June when it plans to reopen. Stay-at-home orders are in force, and non-essential businesses remain closed indefinitely. However, it is now possible to get non-urgent medical procedures done.
The start of the phased reopening process in Pennsylvania started on May 9. The state governors set the date of May 8 when the shelter-at-home order expires. Gradually, businesses and workplaces can start working again. However, the state will reopen in three phases, and some areas may be able to open sooner than others.
Similar to Pennsylvania, Rhode Island started its gradual phased opening on May 9. However, the reopening phases depend on the decline of new Covid-19 cases. If they begin to rise or people ignore social distancing, then the stay-at-home order could come back into force.
South Carolina has already reopened most of its businesses from the third week in April. Many stores have been able to operate at a reduced capacity. The work-at-home order expires on May 12.
South Dakota has controlled the coronavirus outbreak through social distancing, rather than ordering people to stay at home, and will continue to do so.
From the end of April, Tennessee has already started relaxing its lockdown policies to allow businesses and restaurants to reopen. As with nearly every other state in the US, schools remain closed for the rest of the school year in Tennessee.
As with many states, May 8 is the date when many businesses and corporations in Texas can reopen. Strict laws will govern social distancing, and masks are recommended, but not compulsory. However, some non-essential businesses and fitness centers can’t open until after May 18
Many businesses in Utah, such as restaurants, hair salons, and stores, have already been open for a few weeks. However, employee health should be closely monitored, and social distancing is encouraged.
People living in Vermont are subject to a stay-at-home order that lasts until May 15. The plan is that many businesses can resume operations again from May 11, providing that they meet the strict hygiene and distancing requirements.
Virginia has one of the longest stay-at-home orders in place, and it expires on June 10. Many businesses will have to wait until May 14 until they can reopen.
The state of Washington plans to reopen after May 31, when the current lockdown restrictions expire. However, it is already possible to get elective medical procedures done and visit state parks.
West Virginia allowed businesses to start reopening from the end of April. The state has a six-week plan that will see certain types of businesses start to open, beginning with those that offer personal services. So, by the middle of June, most workplaces in the state should reopen.
State restrictions in Wisconsin mean that lockdown for most people and businesses is in force until May 26. At present, some small service-related companies are open for business as long as there is no contact with customers.
Wyoming doesn’t have any shelter-at-home order, and most businesses in the state are already open. However, residents should observe social distancing and appropriate hygiene procedures.
Hope to Cope Until States Fully Reopen
Of course, being cooped up at home for many weeks takes its toll on mental health. Apart from dealing with feelings of isolation, many folks are scared for their health. On top of that, there are worries about incomes being slashed, finding next month’s rent, or if you’ll have a job when the Covid-19 crisis is over.
Just as we’re all taking precautions about physical health, we should look after our mental well-being. What are some practical steps to take to deal with isolation? Here are a few tips from the CDC:
- Stick to a routine – If you’re working from home, try to keep to your usual routine and dress casually.
- Take breaks from the news — Constantly reading about or hearing about Covid-19 can be distressing. So, try to limit the amount of time you listen to the news or read stories about the coronavirus crisis.
- Get daily exercise — You can try at-home exercising or going for brisk walks every day. That will help you keep in shape and relieve stress at the same time.
- Connect with others — It’s essential to keep in contact with family, friends, and work colleagues. Remember that physical distancing doesn’t mean cutting social ties with those who are close to us.
- Eat healthily — Avoid the temptation to binge on junk food or alcohol. Stick to a healthy diet and enjoy well-balanced meals.
Which states are reopening? The bottom line.
The good news is that life will get back to normal — we just don’t know when exactly. States are reopening gradually, and we can all start enjoying the things we love soon. Until then, it’s essential to look after yourself and care for the well-being of those close to you.