Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Officials in Nebraska, US, ease coronavirus disease-related restrictions in most of the state on Sept. 14. Other measures remain unchanged.

Alert Begins 14 Sep 2020 06:32 PM UTC
Alert Expires 05 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nebraska (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Likely business disruptions

As of Sept. 14, authorities in Nebraska plan have eased restrictions in in most of the state as part of its response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All but one of the state's 93 counties will begin operating under Phase 4 restrictions; only Lancaster county, which includes the city of Lincoln, will remain on Phase 3 through at least the end of September.

Under Phase 4, most business restrictions are lifted. Bars, restaurants, personal care businesses, gyms, places of worship, and childcare facilities may operate without capacity limits. Outdoor venues may operate at 100-percent capacity, while indoor venues may operate at 75-percent capacity; large-scale events of more than 500 people will need approval from local health officials.

Only Lancaster county will remain under Phase 3 through at least the end of September, with existing restrictions remaining unchanged. Under Phase 3, the following measures apply:


  • Indoor gatherings at venues must be limited to 50-percent capacity, and outdoor gatherings to 75-percent capacity, never exceeding 10,000 people and ensuring social distancing. However, parades, carnivals, and dances remain banned.


  • Restaurants, bars, and other food establishments may open without capacity limits.


  • Gyms, fitness centers, and spas may open at 75-percent capacity.


  • Personal care businesses may open at 75-percent capacity; employees and customers must wear protective face coverings.


Statewide, spectators may attend youth and school sports events, to the extent restrictions on the size of gatherings allow. All businesses that reopen must comply with specific mandates aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing guidelines, enhanced sanitation procedures, and the use of protective equipment, among other things. Essential businesses, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, fuel stations, and companies in the transport, media, security, energy, and critical manufacturing sectors, are allowed to remain open. Protective face coverings are required in most indoor public spaces in Lincoln and Omaha.

Travelers entering Nebraska from international destinations are encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor their health.

Officials could extend or otherwise amend the orders with little-to-no advance notice depending on disease activity in the coming weeks.

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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