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Governor sets timeline for reopening Montana

Posted on 22 April 2020

Gov. Steve Bullock announces a phased reopening for Montana

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock today set out a plan for opening parts of Montana business, society and culture.

Montana is currently in Phase 1 of the Governor's plan. There is not currently a timeline for moving to Phase 2.

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Some highlights for changes in the coming weeks for Phase 1 are:

  • April 26: The Governor's stay-at-home directive will be lifted.

  • April 26: Places of worship may reopen with limited capacities.

  • April 27: Retail stores will be able to reopen with reduced capacity and under measures to ensure physical distancing. Gyms, pools, and hot tubs will remain closed. So will movie theaters, performance theaters, concert halls, bowling alleys, bingo halls and music halls.

  • April 27: Personal care businesses, like salons and tattoo parlors, will open but customers must be screened for symptoms.

  • May 4: Bars, restaurants, casinos, and breweries can start on-site service if they adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines and under reduced capacity. Breweries have always had an 8 p.m. closing time, and now bars, restaurants and casinos must close by 11:30 p.m. 

  • May 7: All schools have the option to return to in-classroom teaching, dependent on the directions given by local school boards.

Additional Notes on Phase 1:

  • The 14-day self-quarantine will remain in place for out of state travelers.

  • The City of Whitefish emergency ordinance prohibiting motels, hotels, short-term rentals, and other lodging facilities from accepting reservations for non-essential purposes remains in effect through April 30. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) for lodging properties regarding this emergency ordinance can be found here.

  • Outdoor recreation can open if physical distancing is followed. That includes fishing access and parks. There may be some limited reopening of campgrounds, but it wouldn't be until the third and final phase that campgrounds and group-use facilities fully reopen.

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