Updated 4/25/2020

Governor Bill Lee Issues Guidelines For The Reopening Of Restaurants and Retail Stores

Gov. Bill Lee issued the first steps from the “Tennessee Pledge,” the state’s rollout of guidance and best practices for Tennessee businesses in 89 of the state’s 95 counties to keep employees and customers safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The first industries to receive guidance through the plan include the restaurant and retail industries.

Lee announced Tennessee restaurants are able to reopen Monday at 50 percent occupancy. Additionally, Tennessee retailers are able to reopen on Wednesday at 50 percent occupancy. The state recommends that employees in both industries wear cloth face coverings and that business owners follow federal guidelines for hygiene and workplace sanitation standards related to the pandemic. Read more.

Next week, plans to announce the reopening of salons, gyms, hospitals and churches will be available.
Knox County will continue operating under Governor Bill Lee’s Safer at Home Order through April 30.
The joint City/County Task Force—convened by the Knox County Health Department—has advised Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and City of Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon that it is still working on a plan to ensure some area businesses can successfully open on Friday, May 1.
No further comments will be made regarding plans for reopening or guidelines for businesses until 10 a.m. on Monday, April 27 when the two mayors host a joint press conference in the City/County Building Main Assembly Room.