Public Health

When will gyms, restaurants, and hair salons reopen? Timeline in 50 states

Khang T. Vuong, MHA
Khang T. Vuong, MHA12 Jul 2021
Reviewed and Fact Checked ✔️

Written by Jacqueline Slobin and Khang Vuong

What are the stages of reopening?

Beginning in mid-March, schools, businesses, and other operations have been put on hold to slow the spread of COVID-19. As each state begins the process of reopening, they need to consider testing and contact tracing, coronavirus deaths, hospital capacity, and implement a plan. Most reopening plans are set to occur in three main stages in order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Here is a brief summary of what types of businesses will reopen in each phase:

Phase One

  • Elective surgeries may resume with facilities that adhere to CDC guidelines
  • Gyms may reopen with strict physical distance and cleaning protocols. Large gyms, such as Planet Fitness or LA Fitness, may need to limit occupancy and spread out equipment as well

Phase Two

  • Schools and recreational programs, such as summer camps, can reopen
  • Larger restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues and religious centers can reopen with physical distance protocols
  • Bars may reopen with physical distance protocols and at lower occupancy

Phase Three

  • Nursing homes may reopen for in-person visitation under some hygienic protocols

What are essential and non-essential businesses?

As most states implemented stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, many businesses were mandated to temporarily close or shorten their hours. While definitions of essential and non-essential businesses differ across states and cities, the Department of Homeland Security released general guidelines regarding the difference between essential and nonessential differences.

Essential businesses generally include health care facilities, supermarkets, pharmacies, and food banks, while nonessential businesses include salons, museums, and theaters.


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Khang T. Vuong, MHA

Khang T. Vuong received his Master of Healthcare Administration from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. He was named Forbes Healthcare 2021 30 under 30. Vuong spoke at Stanford Medicine X, HIMSS conference, and served as a Fellow at the Bon Secours Health System.

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