Inslee details statewide ban on onsite food and beverage service, other ‘non-essential services’ — and also expands limits on social gatherings

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks during a media briefing as King County Executive Dow Constantine, left, and Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, right, look on. (Photo courtesy Governor’s Office)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Monday issued an emergency proclamation that mandates the immediate two-week closure statewide of all restaurants, bars, and entertainment and recreational facilities, as well as additional limits on large gatherings. The governor also included what he called “non-essential services” in the ban, including hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, movie theaters, museums and fitness centers.

The new orders go into effect at midnight Monday, March 16 and will be in place through March 31 — although it could be extended.

The announcement comes after the recent spike in numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state and across the country, the governor said.

“If we are living a normal life, we are not doing our jobs as Washingtonians,” Inslee said. “We cannot do that anymore. We need to make changes, regardless of size. All of us need to do more. We must limit the number of people we come in contact with. This is the new normal.”

Inslee made the announcement in Seattle with other area elected officials, including Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers.

Statewide closure of all on-site food or beverage services

Inslee announced the two-week ban on any food or beverage service, regardless of location, that provides or allows on-site consumption.

The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies, and on that topic the governor stressed that residents should not overbuy or hoard food and supplies. “The supply chain is strong,” Inslee said. “Grocery stores will continue operating and providing services to Washingtonians. There is no need to hoard food or supplies. Everyone needs to only buy what they need, and they need to remember when they overbuy, those things are taken away from their neighbors and others who need them now.”

The ban on restaurants and bars includes, but is not limited to:

– Restaurants

– Food courts

– Bars and taverns

– Wine, beer and spirits tasting venues

– Doughnut shops and ice cream parlors

– Coffee shops

– Sit-down airport restaurants and bars

Take-out, delivery and drive-thru food and beverage services are not banned under the proclamation.

College and higher education campus dining halls are banned from providing on-site dining, but may provide take-out and delivery options. On-site food service and other related activities are permitted for child care services and school-based food programs for K-12 schools.

The governor also provided statewide guidance for social distancing in retail stores. Businesses are expected to ensure adequate environmental cleaning of stores and must designate an employee or officer to implement a social distancing plan for their business.

Statewide closure of entertainment, leisure and non-essential services
Inslee also included entertainment, leisure and non-essential services in today’s emergency proclamation.
The ban includes, but is not limited to,
– Theaters
– Bowling alleys
– Gyms and fitness centers
– Non-tribal card rooms
– Museums
– Art galleries
– Tattoo parlors
– Barbers, hair salons and nail salons

Inslee also announced a further executive order expanding on orders from last week. Last Friday, Inslee expanded the ban on events larger than 250 beyond the Puget Sound region to the entire state. Monday, he announced the ban will decrease in size to prohibit all events of 50 or larger statewide.

Additionally, all gatherings with under 50 participants are prohibited unless criteria from the CDC for public health and social distancing are met.

“I am proud of how Washingtonians have stepped up and worked together,” Inslee said. “I know we still have long days ahead, but I know that together we will prevail and be a stronger state as a result. We will get through this together and life will return to normal, but the steps we are taking now will help us get back to normal sooner.

”I ask everyone to take these steps to protect themselves, their families and their communities. Everyone needs to play their part. “


  1. During these difficult times, can we get the mandatory 680 hours for PT employees rebuked in order to receive the minimum unemployment benefits?

  2. Is it a mandatory closure for nails salon ?? Or we can open but limited group of no more than 10 people at the time??

    1. My understanding is that it’s a mandatory closure for all beauty salons, nail salons and barbershops.

  3. How to report a nail salon still open when it’s a mandatory closure for all beauty salon, nail salons and barbershop??

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