New Kentucky orders for bars, indoor dining begin Friday

Updated: Nov. 20, 2020 at 9:18 AM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - The latest set of guidelines and restrictions in Kentucky begins Friday at 5 p.m.

The full list of actions contained in the executive order is provided by section below.

The text of the order can be found here. The presentation unveiling the actions can be found here.

There are no further restrictions on retail, Gov. Andy Beshear said, but the state will recommit to enforcing the mask mandate.

The new rules, which generally last three weeks, aim to break up the transmission chains through which the virus spreads while also providing a bridge until a vaccine is available.

Bars and restaurants will be closed for indoor service beginning 5 p.m. Friday until 12 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 13.

They may continue delivery and to-go service as well as outdoor dining, but the mask mandate and socially distanced seating must be enforced. Packed patios, Beshear said, will result in wholesale changes to the rules for these businesses.

The governor cited a Stanford University study, CDC guidance and the findings of local health departments in saying clusters originating in bars and restaurants are contributing to community spread.

“Any effort to slow the growth of COVID-19 requires this step,” he said.

Relief to bars and restaurants will be available in the form of a $40 million fund drawing on CARES Act money. Businesses impacted can receive $10,000, with a maximum of $20,000 per business entity.

Businesses with at least 50% of their sales via drive-through will not be eligible. To focus on locally owned businesses, publicly traded companies are not eligible to apply.

Applications will begin online Nov. 20. More information on the fund is forthcoming.

All public and private schools K-12 will cease in-person instruction beginning Nov. 23.

Middle schools and high schools will remain remote until Jan. 4. Elementary schools will reopen on Dec. 7 if that county is not in the ‘red zone’ on Kentucky’s incident rate map and the school follows all state COVID-19 guidance.

A presentation covering new requirements for schools can be found here.

The governor announced new rules on private, indoor social gatherings. Such gatherings are limited to your current household plus one other household but cannot exceed eight people.

The gathering limit will go into effect beginning 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20 until 12 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 13.

Attendance at venue spaces will also be limited, targeting weddings and funerals, indoor event spaces and theaters.

No more than 25 people will be allowed per room beginning 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20 until 12 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 13.

The order does not apply to in-person services at places of worship, for which recommendations will be released Thursday.

Gyms will be reduced to 33% occupancy. Masks will be required. Group classes will be prohibited.

Pools, bowling alleys, and other similar businesses will also be reduced to 33% capacity.

The governor reported the Kentucky High School Athletics Association decided Wednesday to postpone fall sports and practices until Sunday, Dec. 13.

The same postponement is in effect for practices and competitions at indoor recreation facilities, with special mention of cheerleading gyms and martial arts studios. Individual lessons will be allowed but masks are required.

College athletics will not be affected due to frequent testing and the ability to enforce safety protocols, Beshear said.

Office-based businesses will be limited to 33% capacity. All employees who are able to work from home must do so. All businesses that can close to the public must do so.

Boone County Public Library is closing all of its buildings starting Nov. 23. The buildings will remain closed until Dec. 13 at least, according to the library.

Customers can still continue to check out materials through the curbside pick-up option.

Fines are also suspended until Dec. 13, according to the library.

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