Polis: Restaurants to reopen statewide Wednesday, some camps to follow June 1

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DENVER (KKTV) - Restaurants statewide and some camps will be allowed to open in the coming days, Gov. Jared Polis announced Monday, a hopeful sign that Coloradans are doing well under the Safer at Home order.

The governor had said earlier in May that a decision on restaurants, camps and other summer staples would be made at the end of the month once his office was able to review data from the Safer at Home order. The Safer at Home order began April 27 and replaced the more stringent statewide stay-at-home order. Because data on confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths attributed to COVID-19 can lag two to three weeks, how well the state was faring under laxer restrictions would not be clear until the latter half of May.

"We are still a long way from returning to normal, but these updates are a step in the right direction because Coloradans are doing a good job so far limiting our social interactions. If we can continue staying at home as much as possible, wearing face coverings and washing our hands when leaving the house, then we will be able to slow the spread of the virus while reigniting our economy," Polis said in a statement Monday.

Under the new guidance issued by Polis Monday, restaurants will be allowed to reopen dining rooms up to 50 percent capacity or 50 people, whichever is less. Restaurants are encouraged to provide as much outdoor seating as possible to further help with social distancing.

Day camps and sports camps will be allowed to start running on June 1. There will be no overnight camps in June, but those could resume as early as July. Polis said his office will make a decision on July and August sleepaway camps mid next month.

“I know this has been a very different school year than many students were expecting, and thanks to the success of our social distancing efforts so far, Colorado kids will be able to enjoy day camps and youth sports camps this summer in as safe a manner as possible. The risk, though less, is still very real, and it’s up to families to make the best decisions that work for them. We also appreciate the critical role that day camps, along with daycare which has already been operating in as safe a manner as reasonably possible, play in supporting working parents,” Polis said.

Private campsites were allowed to reopen Monday. State parks had previously been given the green light earlier in May.

Bars will remain closed for now, but the possibility of reopening will be evaluated in June.

Polis did not address when gyms could reopen.

Some counties, like El Paso had previously been given the OK to open restaurants ahead of the state.

The full guidance for restaurants and food services can be read here.