(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indianapolis will take its first steps out of lockdown on Friday, but still isn’t going as far as the rest of the state.
Mayor Joe Hogsett says coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths are all declining, so the city will allow stores and malls to reopen at half capacity, 11 days after those restrictions were lifted
elsewhere. The city will follow next Friday by allowing outdoor dining at restaurants.
But indoor dining is off limits for at least the rest of the month. Personal services businesses like hair and nail salons remain closed, along with factories not classified as essential. And while Governor Holcomb exempted houses of worship from a ban on mass gatherings larger than 25 people, Hogsett says churches and synagogues in Marion County will remain subject to the cap.
Hogsett says outdoor dining will remain subject to social distancing rules, and restaurant workers will be required to wear masks. He says the city will work with restaurants to help them add or expand outdoor seating. The city will expedite the permit process, and will consider closing streets to allow restaurants to expand seating into the roadway.
Hogsett says he hopes to align Marion County’s restrictions with the state’s current limits on June 1.
That’s eight days after Holcomb plans to relax restrictions further, raising the limit on mass gatherings to 100 people and allowing gyms, playgrounds, and movie theaters to reopen.
Hogsett says he doesn’t yet have a timeline for loosening restrictions beyond June 1. Like Holcomb, he says the city will keep an eye on infection data, and reimpose restrictions if there’s a resurgence of the pandemic.
Hogsett says it’s too soon to tell whether the city will be fully reopened in time for the Brickyard 400 on July 5. He says the city has been in constant contact with Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials,
including owner Roger Penske, and says IMS is looking at different scenarios.
Local restrictions in Gary and in Monroe County are currently scheduled to expire Friday as well. And a state lockdown remains in place until Monday in Cass County, where one of every 24 residents has tested positive.