Bill Lee - State of the State - 2019

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee delivers his first State of the State Address Monday, March 4, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Tennessee Economic Recovery Group has issued updated guidelines for restaurants and retails stores to lift capacity restrictions, as well as new guidelines enabling attractions and large venues to reopen with social distancing and capacity restrictions.

In a release from Governor Bill Lee's office, the new guidelines will go into effect on Friday, May 22. The weakened restrictions apply to 89 of Tennessee's 95 counties. Shelby, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison and Sullivan counties may continue to follow individual, county-specific reopening plans created in consultation with state and local health departments. 

Under the updated guidelines, restaurants and retail stores may increase capacity as long as social distancing guidelines are enforced. Restaurants should continue to space tables six feet apart from each other, or install physical barriers where adequate separation is not possible. 

Bars are to remain closed unless used for seated, in-restaurant dining where there is six feet separation between groups of customers. Live music is allowed with appropriate precautions, which include keeping at least 15 feet of separation between performers and audience in order to reduce the potential of being exposed. 

Large, non-contact attractions and venues such as concert and performance venues, water parks, amusement parks, auditoriums, theaters, dinner theaters, zoos, large museums and more can also reopen. Strong measures to protect employees and customers are encouraged, such as screening, creating plans for managing guest flow and limiting capacity to ensure separation between small groups. 

For full guidelines for restaurants, retail, attractions and other large venues, visit TNpledge.com.

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A New York City native and a graduate of the Mizzou School of Journalism, Ethan joined the WSMV Digital Team in June 2019. Send him story ideas, food recommendations and sports topics to Ethan.Illers@wsmv.com and follow him on Twiiter @EthanIllers_TV!

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