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Colorado county plans to allow limited dining, gatherings up to 50 with social distancing

Empty Vail Streets
Posted at 2:13 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 16:13:09-04

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. — Eagle County officials on Friday said the county will move to a "blue phase" of reopening on May 25, with gatherings of up to 50 people and limited dining at restaurants allowed, with certain social distancing measures in place.

Dining at restaurants and bars will be limited to 50% seating capacity and social distancing of six feet will be required for non-household members. Hotels and motels will also be able to operate at 50%.

The new phase still has to be approved by the state. The county has submitted a variance request for the new measures, which are less strict than the statewide safer-at-home phase.

Eagle County, home to the Vail ski resort, was among the hardest-hit counties in the state early in the COVID-19 crisis but has since recovered and been praised by Gov. Jared Polis for their efforts to contain the virus.

In the new phase, outdoor recreation businesses would be able to open in Eagle County if social distancing guidelines are met. But the announcement Friday did not specifically detail plans for ski areas, which remain closed in Colorado under an order from Polis.

Summer camps will be allowed under the phase, if mitigation measures are followed, such as limiting gathering and symptom screenings.

Pools that use chlorine or bromine will be allowed to open at 50% capacity.

The "black phase" of reopening is targeted for June 22, according to the county, though details about that phase have not been released.