With the approaching holidays, it pays to know what the restrictions are for your state, or for any other area you plan to visit. Knowing in advance what you can or can’t do can’t help you save time and effort in planning for the holidays. Despite the announcement of vaccine approvals, it will take some before they actually arrive at your area.
Coronavirus State Restrictions
Below are the latest updated state-by-state guides to coronavirus restrictions as of December 15, 2020. As with everything else, always remember that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” Stay safe
Individuals out in public or close contact will need to wear a facial covering. Restaurants, retailers, gyms, and close-contact providers remain open with relaxed social distancing rules. However, masks and partitions remain in effect.
Alaska imposed limited travel restrictions between communities, with critical infrastructure allowed in rural areas. All employees, contractors, and visitors are still required to wear a face mask if social distancing is not possible. Masks are strongly recommended but not required.
Arizona allows retail establishments to stay as long as physical distancing and enhanced sanitation remain in effect. Restaurants allow dine-in services, with delivery and curbside pickups are welcome. The state promotes wearing a mask and discourages large gatherings, especially those done indoors.
All persons diagnosed with, or exposed to people with coronavirus should avoid holiday gatherings. The state advises residents to avoid holiday travel and large gatherings, and wear a face mask around people outside of the family.
A Regional Stay Home Order is in effect for regions with less than 15% ICU availability. Southern California is under the order. Private gatherings of any size are forbidden, with only critical retail and infrastructure will be allowed to remain open. Retail stores are down to 20% while food establishments will only accept take-out and delivery. Masks are required at all times. All nonessential work, movement, and gatherings in some counties must stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. until Dec. 21.
Governor Jared Polis extended the mask mandate for 30 more days beginning December 8. Counties designated as red level will impose restrictions. It’s forbidden to conduct gatherings between different households. Food outlets can only offer outdoor dining until 8 pm, or delivery and take out. Bars stay closed while gyms will only accept 10% capacity. The state asks at-risk people to stay home.
Connecticut is currently at Phase 2.1. There are limited seatings for restaurants and entertainment venues, which will close by 9:30 p.m. However, food takeout and delivery can continue beyond these hours. Personal services remain at 75% capacity while event venues will be limited to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. Performing arts venues and religious gatherings will be limited.
Both a mask mandate and stay-at-home advisory are in effect. Any individual must wear a mask whenever they are with anyone aside from their household. Indoor gatherings in homes are capped at 10 people, and outdoor gatherings at 50. Retail should operate at 30%, large businesses at 20%, and worship services at 40%. Bars and restaurants should close by 10 pm.
Florida will not shut down despite surging coronavirus cases.
Georgia recommends following guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on reducing the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.
All transpacific travelers must test negative before going to Hawaii to bypass the 14-day quarantine. A statewide mask mandate is ongoing for everybody outside.
Idaho reminds residents to wear a mask whenever with non-household persons. Gatherings are limited to 10 people or less, except when exercising “religious or political expression.” However, physical distancing is a must. Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants are allowed to continue to operate with seating only.
Depending on the region, Illinois deploys a different set of restrictions. While there are no mask mandates, there are region-specific guidelines on how many people are allowed in retail spaces and food outlets, and until what time they can operate.
Depending on the color assignment of the county, social gatherings stay capped between 25 (red) and 50 (orange). Indoor school activities for K-12 stays at 25% (orange) or by invitation only for parents or guardians (red). Local officials can dictate hours for bars and restaurants.
Iowa requires all Iowans aged 2 years or older to wear masks when in indoor public spaces.
Indoor gatherings are limited to 15 people while outdoor gatherings are limited to 30 people.
Restaurants, bars, and recreational centers are open only until 10 p.m.
A mask mandate went into effect beginning November 25, but each county can opt-out from complying with the order. The mandate requires the wearing of a “face covering” in indoor public spaces and public spaces outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
The state suspended all in-person classes and indoor dining. Indoor recreational centers should stay at 33% capacity. A cap of 25 people applies to all indoor events except worship. Meanwhile, private gatherings should not exceed eight people from two households.
Tighter restrictions are in place from November 25 until Christmas week. A mask mandate remains in place. Meanwhile, people should avoid gatherings. Businesses’ capacity stays at 50%, while places of worship should observe 75%. Indoor gatherings of up to 75 people are OK. At the same time, outdoor activities can hold up to 150 individuals. Physical distancing stays mandatory for all activities. Entertainment venues can stay open if outdoors.
Bars and restaurants cannot operate between 10 pm and 6 am, except for carryout and delivery services. Meanwhile, indoor operations must stay at 50%, with seated and distanced services only. In Baltimore, only takeout services will continue. Also, retail establishments and religious facilities will operate at 50% capacity. The state strongly discourages indoor gatherings of 25 people or more (for Baltimore, 10).
The state issued a stay-at-home advisory and curfew for residents and most businesses at 10 pm. Private indoor gatherings should accommodate 10 people maximum. Meanwhile, outdoor gathers are set at 25. Shoppers need to comply with mask regulations. Families should avoid gatherings. But, up to two households can gather if strict protocols are followed. Individuals “should wear masks consistently” when with somebody not from their household.
Bars and restaurants can only open outdoor dining, carry-out, and delivery service. Casinos, movie theaters, and group exercise classes stay closed. Gyms are open for individual exercise. Professional and college sports that meet “extraordinary standards for risk mitigation” can continue but without spectators. Outdoor gatherings are allowed and parks will remain open.
All bars and restaurants must end dine-in service by 10 p.m. Indoor capacity are at 50% capacity.
Indoor and outdoor gatherings should remain within 10 people. Meanwhile, all social gatherings should not exceed three households. Weddings, funerals, and similar events can only take place between 4 am to 10 pm.
The state instructed that wearing a mask, social distancing, and proper hand hygiene can help mitigate COVID-19. The governor urged residents to limit interactions and minimize travel.
All bars, breweries, restaurants, and casinos must limit capacity to 50% and close by 10 pm.
Also, masks are mandatory in all counties for anyone more than four years old. Residents should avoid in-person gatherings of 15 or more.
Beginning November 24, restaurants, bars, gaming operations, gyms, fitness facilities, and other businesses must limit capacity to 25%. Meanwhile, retail and grocery stores remain at 50% capacity. Also, Public gatherings should stay under 50 people or 25% capacity. Private gatherings can accommodate up to 10 people from two households. Face coverings are mandatory.
A statewide mask mandate is in place.
There is an ongoing statewide suspension of indoor high school and youth sports. However, indoor collegiate and professional sports can continue. Outdoor gatherings will cap at 35 people instead of 150.
Meanwhile, restaurants, bars, clubs, lounges, and other businesses that serve food or drinks must close indoor dining by 10 p.m. Outdoor dining and delivery/takeout can continue.
Nonessential businesses must close by 8 p.m. Indoor gatherings stay within 10 people, while a cap on outdoor gatherings is at 150. Indoor religious services, celebrations, political events, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and other performances can proceed. However, it should only use 25% of a room’s capacity or 150 people.
The state advised residents to stay at home except for essential trips. Only essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, shelters, child care facilities, and gas stations will remain open. They must close by 10 and limit customers to 25% occupancy. Food and drink establishments are limited to curbside pickup and delivery services only.
NEW YORK will not allow indoor dining in NYC starting the 14th. Only takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining can continue. However, serving alcohol remains no. Gyms and stores should close by 10 pm. Remote schooling is in place, and indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences stay capped at 10 people.
The NYPD will implement quarantine checkpoints and vehicle stops at key locations.
The state announced a modified stay at home order is in effect. All residents must stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. until at least Jan. 8. Restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses should close by 10 pm, while on-site alcohol consumption should end by 9 pm. Residents five years and older are required to wear face coverings both indoors and outdoors at offices, business establishments, schools, and other places where people may travel or congregate.
North Dakota implements a statewide mask mandate. Meanwhile, all bars and restaurants must observe a 50% maximum capacity. Also, they should close between 10 pm and 4 am. Event venues must stay at 25% capacity.
A statewide curfew is in effect since November 19 daily, from 10 pm to 5 am. Wedding receptions and other banquet facilities may continue but will need to conform to strict guidelines.
Religious observances are exempt. All businesses must display a face mask requirement. Also, all employees and customers should wear masks.
All bars and restaurants must close by 11 pm. Pickup and delivery can continue beyond these hours. Indoor dining should observe social distancing in seating arrangements. Meanwhile, state employees should wear masks in common areas.
Masks are required statewide for all people under five years old. Individuals should wear masks at all times unless when at home, in their car, or eating and drinking. In counties classified as “extreme risk,” indoor dining remains prohibited. However, the state permits outdoor dining until 11 pm. While indoor fitness and entertainment activities will stay unavailable, outdoor activities can continue as long it accommodates a maximum of 50 people. Retail shop occupancy stays capped at 50%, while faith-based services at 25%. Outdoor faith-based services can accommodate up to 150 people. Indoor and outdoor social gatherings must not exceed six people from two separate households.
A stay-at-home advisory is in place for the entire state of Pennsylvania. Residents should limit holiday celebrations to members of their immediate household. Individuals can refer to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for safe holiday gatherings. Residents and visitors should wear masks and observe physical distancing. Additionally, out-of-state visitors will require a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours. This does not apply to residents who commute daily to and from an out-of-state workplace.
Schools must implement testing plans for students who return to campus.
Restaurants, bars, gyms, personal services, and recreational facilities should close by 10 pm on weekdays and by 10:30 pm on weekends. Indoor and outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people. Indoor venues should only allow 50% capacity or 125 people. Meanwhile, outdoor venues should not exceed 66% of capacity or 150 people.
There are no lockdown orders for Texas. Due to the recent rise in crimes, Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that state police resources, including helicopters and special agents, will head to Dallas to help crack down on erring individuals.
The entire state remains under a mask mandate until further notice. Also, casual social gatherings remain limited to household members only. Besides, all extracurricular activities are being temporarily put on hold.
The state implemented a temporary ban on “public and private multi-household gatherings” and announced a shutdown of bars and clubs. However, individuals who live alone can visit other members of their immediate family who reside elsewhere. Vermont will also apply new contact-tracing and testing requirements.
Virginia imposed tighter restrictions for the entire state, including a curfew covering 12 midnight to 5 am. Meanwhile, all social gatherings must be capped at 10 individuals, while establishments serving alcohol should close by midnight. However, alcohol sales and consumption should finish by 10 pm. Meanwhile, all residents aged 5 and up must wear face coverings when indoors with others, or when outdoors within six feet of another. The new set of rules will remain until Jan. 31, 2021.
The state’s current restrictions will extend until January 4. Social gatherings from multiple households remain prohibited, while outdoor social gatherings prohibit more than five people outside someone’s household.
Indoor dining service remains prohibited, but outdoor dining and takeout services are okay. All in-store retail should observe a 25% maximum capacity. Religious services will stay limited at 25% indoor occupancy or 200 people, with face coverings required at all times. Choirs, bands, or ensembles should not perform during the service. Gyms can only conduct outdoor classes for up to five persons per group.
All entertainment venues will not open up indoor services. Only drive-in theaters can operate under previously laid-out restrictions. Long-term care facilities can allow outdoor visits, except when dealing with end-of-life care. Weddings and funeral receptions should cap at 30 participants.
All individuals should stay home and make trips only when necessary. The state also encourages all businesses to take steps to protect their staff, customers, and their communities.
All West Virginians over the age of eight must wear a face covering at all times inside all indoor public places. Only residents with problems breathing or anyone who is “otherwise unable to remove their own face-covering without assistance” are exempt. All youth winter sports teams and leagues are postponed until at least Jan. 11, 2021.
There is no statewide mask mandate for Wyoming. Beginning November 24, Wyoming will not require any business closures. However, allowed indoor and outdoor gathering sizes will diminish. Indoor and outdoor gatherings without social distancing will need to cap at 25 people. Indoor events with social distancing can continue but will remain at 25% of venue capacity or 100 people maximum. Outdoor events, where social distancing is maintained, are limited to 50% of capacity or 250 people. Faith-based services do not have to follow the rules.
Watch the CBS News report on Pennsylvania ordering new COVID-19 restrictions in light of the upcoming holidays:
Some states may amend or lift their restrictions altogether. However, given the state of coronavirus infections in the country, it may be more prudent for state offices to continue with their advisories. For most of us, avoiding large crowds, wearing a mask when in public, and washing hands can help lessen the spread. And, ultimately lift the restrictions. At least until the vaccine arrives in your area. Stay safe!