Washington on Target for Reopening June 30, Inslee Says, With One Exception


OLYMPIA — Washington state will reopen, with one exception, on June 30 or earlier, Gov. Jay Inslee confirmed at a media briefing Wednesday afternoon.

Limits on capacity will be lifted for all businesses, except for large indoor event venues.

Venues that can accommodate 10,000 or more people will continue to be restricted to 75% capacity as a precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Physical distancing will not be required, but face masks will be.

However, other businesses, including restaurants, bars, theaters and fitness centers, will no longer be limited to 50% of capacity.

Inslee postponed full reopening of venues that have large gatherings, particularly those indoors, because they have a significantly greater risk of spreading disease than smaller events.

The governor will re-evaluate the restriction on large indoor event venues by the end of July, he said.

The state is expected to continue to require masks in public places for people who are not vaccinated after June 30.

Inslee has said that he could lift restrictions before June 30 if at least 70% of people age 16 and older in the state have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

— Also on Wednesday, Inslee announced the naming of a long-time Washington state government employee to lead the state's unemployment agency.

Cami Feek, acting commissioner of the state Employment Security Department since February, now has the position officially.