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Larimer County can reopen restaurants, churches and malls, but not bars

Other activities that can resume with safety measures in place are personal services, camping and non-contact recreation.
Credit: KISA
Old Town Fort Collins (File).

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Larimer County received approval Saturday to slowly reopen some businesses ahead of the expiration of Colorado's safer-at-home order, according to Larimer County Public Health (LCPH).

Restaurants, personal services (such as salons and spas), general recreation facilities, camping, graduations, places of worship, non-contact recreation activities (such as kayaking, golfing and biking), short-term rentals and libraries can reopen, with safety measures, under the variance approved by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Places that didn't get approval for reopening: bars, tasting rooms, wineries, distilleries and breweries; child care facilities and day camps; and outdoor group activities.

LCPH said it could resubmit variance requests for those things but is waiting on whether the state issues its own guidance in those areas.

Businesses are required to complete checklists or submit plans for approval, depending on their industry or sector, before they can reopen, LCPH said.

In all cases, proper social distancing and sanitation protocols must be put in place in order to reopen, LCPH said.

Restaurants can reopen based on a checklist but must get approval from their municipality if they want to expand seating into streets or parking lots, LCPH said. They will be allowed to serve 30% of their capacity as indoor seating, and up to 60% capacity in unenclosed outdoor areas.

LCPH said restaurant seating must be capped at 60% occupancy, and all indoor and outdoor tables must be at least eight feet apart.

In its variance request, the county specified the same safety requirements for restaurants as for bars and breweries; however, the state health department approved the reopening of one but not the other.

Restrictions will be tightened again if COVID-19 cases spike and county hospitals experience capacity issues related to COVID-19, LCPH said.

“The health department will continue to collaborate with our hospitals daily to monitor capacity triggers and are confident that we can slowly reopen business ahead of the statewide safer at home restrictions,” said Tom Gonzales, public health director for Larimer County.

>Click here to find more details on the variance on Larimer County's website.

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