Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott from the Rhode Island Department of Health had some good news for businesses today.

Effective Sunday, January 31, the early closure advisory in the state will be lifted, meaning restaurants and other establishments will no longer need to close at 10 pm on weekdays and 10:30 pm.

Update – At 8:27 am on Friday, January 29, Matt Sheaff, a spokesman for the State’s Department of Commerce shared the following statement regarding the lifting of early closures. “Small businesses, especially our restaurants, have been hit so hard during this pandemic. Because our COVID-19 data is showing positive signs across the board, we are able to gradually relax some of the business restrictions in place. Today, Governor Raimondo will sign an executive order immediately removing the early closure requirements for businesses.”

Besides restaurants and bars, the early closure advisory is also lifted for gyms and fitness centers, indoor sporting facilities, museums, historical sites, indoor recreation and entertainment facilities, and personal service businesses.

Restaurants and other establishments will still have to follow all other current restrictions, including the closure of bar areas.

Rhode Island Department of Health reported today 618 new positive cases, 3.3% positivity rate, 9 new fatalities, and 335 hospitalizations.

Since November 8, 2020, many businesses were required to close at 10 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and at 10:30 pm on Friday and Saturday.

Earlier this week, Massachusetts lifted their curfew on early closing times for bars and restaurants.

For more information on the reopening of Rhode Island, visit https://reopeningri.com/.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.