Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Disruptions likely to persist in Tennessee, US through August due to COVID-19 restrictions. Some counties impose additional restrictions.

  • Alert Begins: 29 Jul 2020 02:29 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 12 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Tennessee (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business disruptions likely

Lingering business disruptions will likely persist in Tennessee through August, despite Governor William Lee lifting most movement and business restrictions that were enforced as part of the state's response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Residents are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing and to wear protective face coverings; local authorities may impose orders for residents to wear protective facemasks in public. Public gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted.

Most businesses and facilities have been allowed to reopen in 89 of the state's 95 counties. County-specific reopening plans will be maintained in Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby, and Sullivan counties.

The following businesses and activities have been allowed to resume:


  • Dine-in services at restaurants and retail stores can open without capacity limits but must maintain social distancing protocols.


  • Gyms and training facilities may reopen with 50-percent capacity.


  • Close-contact businesses, such as barbershops, hair salons, and massage therapy sessions, are allowed to reopen, limiting the number of customers to 50 percent of the facility's capacity.


  • Noncontact, small group recreation businesses, such as bowling alleys, water sports, and mini-golf, can open with 50-percent maximum capacity.


  • Large attractions and entertainment venues, including racetracks, amusement parks, water parks, theaters, auditoriums, and museums, can open with limited capacity.


  • Noncontact sports, summer camps, and higher education facilities may reopen under additional protocols.


Authorities in Davidson County, which includes the city of Nashville, maintain the jurisdiction on a modified Phase 2 of its recovery plan, allowing retail stores to operate at 75-percent capacity, and gyms and personal care businesses at 50-percent capacity. Indoor services at restaurants are allowed at 50-percent capacity, and must close nightly at 2200. Bars must remain closed until at least Aug. 16. Residents must wear protective facemasks whenever they leave their household. Gatherings of more than 25 people are not allowed.

In Shelby County, restaurants may operate but must close for in-person services nightly by 2200, and personal care businesses may operate with social distancing measures; gyms, retail stores, and libraries may operate at 50 percent of capacity. Bars must remain closed, and festivals, fairs, and large-scale sporting and community events remain canceled. Officials in Knox and Hamilton counties have adopted the state measures, but have ordered residents to wear protective facemasks in indoor settings outside their households.

All businesses must ensure social distancing, enhance sanitation procedures, and encourage the use of facemasks and other protective equipment for employees and customers. Employers should screen workers' health and not allow them to work if they have symptoms associated with COVID-19. Customers should also be screened for potential COVID-19 symptoms.

Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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