There’s good news for Montanans eager to get back to work. Governor Bullock has finally revealed a multi-phased plan to reopen Montana’s economy and get the Big Sky State back to work. Issuing new executive orders, Bullock is going to start lifting economic and constitutional restrictions on Sunday.
The executive order, titled Directive implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020 and providing guidance for the phased reopening of Montana and establishing conditions for Phase One, makes provisions for most businesses to reopen on April 27, so long as they maintain social distancing requirements.
Businesses not allowed to reopen on April 27 include gyms, pools, hot tubs, music halls, movie theaters, and bowling alleys. Additionally, the governor’s order has given Montanans permission to “recreate outdoors” at places like fishing access sites.
Houses of worship can open on April 26 with “limited capacity.” The governor has instructed meetings to be limited to ten or fewer people unless “appropriate physical distancing” can be maintained. The order did not get specific as to what that is, but it is presumed to be six square feet between family groups.
On May 4, the governor will allow bars, casinos, and restaurants to open, so long as they maintain distancing. These establishments are only allowed to be crowded “50% of normal” and provide six-feet of distance between patrons.
On May 7, schools will have the option of opening again.
Bullock’s orders encourage ‘vulnerable’ people to stay continue to stay home and asks that people continue to wash their hands (in other words, common-sense advice). With record-breaking unemployment and Montana’s economy collapsing, this good news could not have come soon enough.