Inslee eases COVID restrictions on business gatherings

Oct 1, 2020
Written by wpengine

Business events now can be held at convention and conference centers as well as in designated meeting spaces at hotels at an indoor capacity of 30% or 200 guests, whichever is less, according to a memo released last week by Governor Jay Inslee.

Such events had not been permitted under previous COVID-19 proclamations since the arrival of the pandemic.

Business meetings, training and testing are permitted provided they cannot be performed virtually. Receptions other than for limited weddings and funerals, networking events and live entertainment remain prohibited. It is especially good news for the battered hospitality industry that Inslee shut down as non-essential to slow the spread of the virus.

“A number of hotels and venues have had quite a few calls from businesses that want to set up business planning meetings,” said Tom Norwalk, CEO of Visit Seattle. “I think there’s a very ready market for this.”

The memo comes with a list of 15 general requirements. Among them are posting signs “strongly advising no talking in elevators,” and ensuring people wear face coverings even during outdoor activities.

Attendees will have to pre-register, and organizers must retain contact information for all attendees. Moving people in and out of events will be staggered, and event scheduling will be done to minimize attendees in common areas, where public seating is to be removed or adjusted to ensure physical distancing.