Providence, RI – Governor Gina Raimondo shared the following Phase 3 guidance and plans for schools during her press briefing on Friday and later via email to;
I have a lot of news to share with you today, but first I want to wish all Rhode Islanders a happy Juneteenth! Today we commemorate the moment that Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas—nearly three years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed—and finally delivered the news to slaves that they had been freed. Juneteenth is a celebratory holiday, but it’s also a time to reflect. Now more than ever, it’s important that we recognize our history and commit ourselves to a better, more just future.
As we continue in our reopening — and with our plan to rebuild an even stronger, more resilient, more equitable Rhode Island – we’re going to have to commit to keeping our focus on public health guidelines. We’ll have to hold ourselves accountable to make good choices. We’re not going to get through this by relying on heavy-handed enforcement. We’re going to get through this by taking pride in doing our part to protect Rhode Island.
Today, I want to tell you about some of the rules we’re planning to change when we enter Phase 3.
In Phase 3, indoor social gatherings should be no more than 50 to 75 people. Outdoor social gatherings should be no more than 75 to 150 people. Please understand that these ranges still represent a wide spread of risk; you should try to hold your event to the lower limit in order to keep yourself and your guests safe.
Social gatherings include all parties, weddings and networking events. These are situations where you’re likely going to mingle and come in contact with many people beyond the group you arrived with. As you can see, we’re going to have some choices to make. There’s a range here, and we just have to understand that the smaller the group we’re in, the lower the risk of spreading the virus.
For a few months now, we’ve given very specific direction sector by sector as we’ve taken into account the specific circumstances of different industries and activities. As we move forward, the rules for Phase 3 are going to simplify. In Phase 3:
- All indoor settings operating at a square footage capacity can increase up to 1 person per 100 square feet provided that everyone maintains 6-feet of social distance. This includes things like retail stores and gyms.
- All indoor settings currently operating at a percent capacity cap can increase up to 66% capacity provided that everyone maintains 6-feet of social distance. This includes things like offices, restaurants and places of worship.
- Nearly all indoor venues that were closed in Phase 2 can open. This includes things like movie theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, museums and performance venues. We’ll allow these venues to open at up to 66% capacity or 100 square feet per person provided that everyone maintains 6-feet of social distance.
- There will be no cap on the number of people who can be in an outdoor setting at one time. However, we do not recommend going above 250 people.
We aren’t quite ready to move to Phase 3 just yet, but I hope this preview of the changes to the rules is an encouraging sign for you. I also want to tell you about what our plans are for opening schools safely.