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Legal Update Article

Washington: New COVID-19 Quarantine Proclamation, Amendment to Rollback of Reopening Rules

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has issued Proclamation 20-83, which creates a mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for travelers into the state from certain countries, including the United Kingdom and South Africa. The Proclamation is effective immediately and does not expire until the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

The purpose of the Proclamation is to protect Washington residents from the new SARS-COV-2 variant that is circulating in some regions of the world. The mandatory quarantine requirement has limited exceptions that allow a traveler to obtain necessarily medical care and testing from healthcare facilities and to obtain household items like groceries. Persons working in airline flight crews are exempt from this Proclamation. The Proclamation leaves intact the non-mandatory, 14-day quarantine recommendation for all non-essential travel to Washington from other states or countries.

In addition, Governor Inslee continues to modify his recent rollback of the reopening rules in the state. His amended COVID-19 Proclamation went into effect immediately and is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on January 4, 2021.

Social Gatherings

Outdoor social gatherings are limited to 5 people from outside the same household. People may not gather socially indoors with people from outside their household unless they:

(a) Quarantine for 14 days beforehand; or

(b) Quarantine for 7 days beforehand and receive a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 48 hours beforehand.

Restaurants and Bars

To-go service is allowed, but indoor dine-in service is prohibited. Outdoor dining is allowed as long as it complies with the Outdoor Dining Guidance. No more than 5 people may sit together at a table.

In-Store Retail

A store’s common or congregate seating areas and indoor dining facilities (like food courts) must be closed. A store’s indoor occupancy is limited to 25% of capacity.

Professional Services

Whenever possible, employees must work from home, and offices must be closed to the public. If an office must remain open, the office’s indoor occupancy is limited to 25% of capacity.

Personal Services

This category includes cosmetologists, cosmetology testing, hairstylists, barbers, estheticians, master estheticians, manicurists, nail salon workers, electrologists, permanent makeup artists, tanning salons, and tattoo artists. The indoor occupancy of such businesses is limited to 25% of capacity.

Fitness Facilities and Gyms

Indoor operations are closed. Outdoor fitness classes are allowed, but they are subject to the outdoor social gathering restrictions.

Long-Term Care Facilities

Outdoor visits are allowed, but indoor visits are prohibited, except for an essential support person or end-of-life care. These facilities are still subject to detailed rules found in other industry-specific Proclamations and guidance.

Miscellaneous Venues

This category includes convention and conference centers, designated meeting spaces in a hotel, events centers, fairgrounds, sporting arenas, nonprofit establishment, and substantially similar venues. For miscellaneous venues, all retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely, as well as all court and judicial branch-related proceedings, are allowed. Indoor occupancy in each meeting room is limited to 25% of capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

Real Estate

Open houses are prohibited.

Bowling Centers

Indoor operations must be closed.

Movie Theaters

Indoor operations must be closed. Drive-in movie theaters are allowed and must continue to follow current drive-in movie theater guidance.

Museums, Zoos, Aquariums

Indoor operations must be closed.

Youth and Adult Sporting Activities

Indoor activities and all contests and games are prohibited. Outdoor activities must be limited to intra-team practices only, with facial coverings required for all coaches, volunteers, and athletes at all times.

Weddings and Funerals

No more than 30 people may attend ceremonies. Indoor receptions, wakes, or similar gatherings in conjunction with such ceremonies are prohibited. Indoor singing is prohibited. Outdoor singing is permitted if participants wear face coverings and comply with the Wedding and Funerals Guidance.

Religious Services

The indoor occupancy for religious services is limited to 25% of capacity, with a recommended maximum of 200 people. Congregation members or attendees must wear facial coverings at all times. Indoor congregation singing is prohibited. No choir, band, or ensemble may perform during the service. Vocal or instrumental soloists may perform, and vocal soloists may have a single accompanist. If the soloist is performing on a woodwind or brass instrument, the soloist may remove their face covering only during the performance. Outdoor services must comply with the Outdoor Dining Guidance, as applicable to the structure or facility. Singing by congregation members during outdoor services is permitted if members wear face coverings. The state has prepared Religious and Faith-Based Organization Guidance.

Singing in Enclosed Spaces

For all other circumstances not specifically addressed in this Proclamation, group singing, with or without face coverings, with members who are outside of a person’s household is prohibited in enclosed, indoor spaces. Outdoor singing, while participants wear face coverings, is permitted, so long as the activity otherwise complies with guidance specific to that activity.

If an activity or industry is not specifically listed in this amended Proclamation, the existing guidance and rules will continue to apply. These modifications do not apply to education, childcare, healthcare, or courts and judicial-branch-related proceedings.

All violations of the Proclamation are subject to criminal penalties (as is the case with all of the Governor’s recent Proclamations).

Reopening orders contain extensive requirements creating compliance issues that can vary significantly depending on the specific state or local jurisdiction. Jackson Lewis attorneys are closely monitoring updates and changes to legal requirements and guidance and are available to help employers weed through the complexities involved with state-specific or multistate-compliant plans.

If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work, or any member of our COVID-19 team.

© Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 

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