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Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group Issues Updated Guidance for Restaurants, Retail, Allows for Large Attractions to Open

Tennessee State GovernmentNashville, TN – Tennessee continues to advance the state’s reopening plan under the Tennessee Pledge, as the Economic Recovery Group issued updated guidelines for restaurants and retail, along with new guidelines that enable attractions and larger venues to reopen with social distancing and capacity restrictions on or after Friday, May 22nd, 2020.


Tennessee continues to meet the White House gating criteria with a downward trend in case growth, increase in testing capability and sufficient hospital capacity.

“Tennesseans have worked hard to slow the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus in our state, and their efforts have allowed us to continue to reopen our economy further,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “These guidelines share best practices to ensure our state’s businesses can continue to operate in a way that protects customers and employees while putting people back to work.”

The updated guidelines enable restaurants and retail to increase capacity as long as social distancing protocols remain in place. Restaurants should continue to space tables 6 feet apart, or install physical barriers where adequate separation isn’t possible.

Bars remain closed unless used for seated, in-restaurant dining where there is 6 feet of separation between customer groups. Live music is permissible with appropriate precautions, which include maintaining at least 15 feet of separation between performers and audience in order to reduce potential exposure.

Large, non-contact attractions and venues including concert and performance venues, amusement and water parks, auditoriums, theaters and dinner theaters, zoos, large museums and more can also reopen safely under new Tennessee Pledge guidelines.

Strong measures to protect employees and customers are recommended, including screening of employees and customers, creating plans for managing guest flow, and limiting capacity to ensure separation between small groups.

Full guidelines can be found on TNpledge.com for:

  • Retail
  • Restaurant
  • Attractions and Large Venues

Six counties – Shelby County, Madison County, Davidson County, Hamilton County, Knox County and Sullivan County – may continue to follow individual, county-specific reopening plans created in consultation with State and local health departments.

The Economic Recovery Group (ERG), composed of 30 leaders from the public and private sector, is crafting guidance to assist businesses in a safe reopening. The industry representatives participating in the ERG collectively represent over 140,000 Tennessee businesses that employ over 2.5M Tennesseans.


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