Anchorage’s Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson wielded her emergency powers on March 4 to issue a new emergency ordinance that eases some of the burdensome restrictions she has imposed on area residents, businesses and other entities since stepping into the mayor’s office last October.
Issued March 4, Emergency Ordinance 19 asserts that adherence to the acting mayor’s previous orders, coupled with the roll out of vaccines, has now made it possible for her to permit a “careful loosening of restrictions.”
At the same time, Quinn-Davidson warned that new variants of the virus are now in Anchorage and “a large majority of Anchorage is unvaccinated.” These realities, she says, make it “more important than ever that six feet of physical distance really is a full six feet, and that masks comprising multiple layers are worn properly.”
Beginning March 8, indoor gatherings involving food or drink will be limited to 25 people, and indoor events without food or drink may have 35 people. Outdoor events with food or drink are limited to 60. Without food or drink outdoor gathers can have up to 100 attendees.
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The new ordinance allows spectators to watch sporting events, with limitations, and permits Anchorage athletes to compete against teams from outside the city, provided all participants complete pre-competition COVID testing.
Restaurants, bars and similar entities can open without size limitations if patrons maintain a six-foot distance between groups. The same applies to theaters, bingo halls and other entertainment facilities, including gyms and fitness centers.
Salons and personal care providers can open at full capacity with six feet separation and certain limits on services that require the removal of masks – like beard trimming.
Retail and other businesses must operate in a manner that allows physical distancing. Hotels and other places of lodging can operate so long as they inform employees and state officials if a COVID positive lodger is staying on premise.
In addition to fine and penalties, violations of the emergency ordinance may result in mandatory suspension of certain businesses or activities, or closure of individual businesses, non-profits and other entities.
Churches and political events are partially exempted from the emergency order, but must require masks of all participants, and everyone is ordered to maintain a six-foot distance between households.
Click here to read the complete ordinance.