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New restrictions for businesses and professions

On November 15, Governor Inslee announced new restrictions for some businesses. This is in response to the recent rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in Washington and across the country. The new restrictions apply to all counties, regardless of what phase the county is in. They are effective from midnight on November 16 through December 14.

The new restrictions come as Washington sees consistent increasing daily case counts. There were over 2,000 cases a day over the weekend and average cases in the state doubled over the past 2 weeks.

Businesses affected by the changes

Professional Services

Professional services are businesses that have an office where they provide a service to clients. Here are some examples:

  • Architects
  • Bail bonds
  • Collection agencies
  • Home inspectors
  • Private investigators
  • Sellers of travel
  • Telephone solicitors
  • Whitewater river outfitters

Employers of these businesses must mandate that employees work from home when possible. They must also close offices to the public if possible. Any offices that remain open must limit occupancy to 25% of indoor occupancy limits.

Read the governor’s updated professional services guidance for more information.

Personal Services

Personal service providers include:

  • Cosmetologists.
  • Hairstylists and barbers.
  • Estheticians, manicurists and nail salons.
  • Electrologists.
  • Permanent makeup artists.
  • Tattoo artists.

Personal services businesses are limited to 25% of indoor occupancy. Read the governor’s updated personal services guidance for more information.

Business that train and/or test

Some businesses we license provide critical infrastructure workforce training. Examples are driver training schools and commercial driver training. The guidelines for these businesses have not changed, except as noted below.

If you hold testing or training in a miscellaneous venue:

  • You are only allowed to hold training and testing that you cannot perform online.
  • You must limit occupancy in each meeting room to 25% of indoor occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

Miscellaneous venues include:

  • Convention/conference centers.
  • Designated meeting spaces in a hotel.
  • Events centers.
  • Fairgrounds.
  • Sporting arenas.
  • Nonprofit establishments.
  • Or substantially similar venues.

Real Estate

The new restrictions prohibit open houses. Read the governor’s updated real estate requirements for more information.

Funerals

The new restrictions limit funeral ceremonies to no more than 30 people. They also prohibit indoor receptions, wakes, or similar gatherings. Read the governor’s updated funeral requirements for more information.

Occupancy limits

The percentages for capacity are based on the occupancy of the building, which is based on fire code. The percentage calculation is for guests and/or clients and does not include staff.

Occupancy limit signs are often posted in building assembly spaces. You can also find occupancy on:

  • Lease agreements.
  • Permits for tenant improvements.
  • Approved permit plans.

If you can’t find the occupancy, contact your landlord or local city permitting office.