COVID-19

Little by little: Partial reopening for more New Mexico businesses

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More New Mexico businesses can open in a limited capacity Monday (June 1) after several weeks of COVID-19 shutdown. 

Who it affects: Restaurants, gyms, salons, barber shops, tattoo shops, massage businesses

What's new: Some indoor dining allowed, limited capacity in salons, barber shops and gyms.

What's the same: Bars remain closed. Breweries and wineries can offer curbside pickup.  People must wear face coverings in public places and are strongly urged to remain six feet apart.  

More details: Since the end of March, restaurants, gyms, liquor stores and other businesses across the state were ordered to shut down to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that an amended  emergency health order would reopen more of the economy as the rate of the spread of COVID-19 decreases.  

“The people of New Mexico have really cooperated and done the things we are asking you to do,” said New Mexico Human Services Secretary David Scrase. 

On June 1, restaurants can open their indoor dining rooms at 50 percent of normal capacity. 

“We are ecstatic,” said Taos restaurant owner Kimberly Armstrong. “It is so needed and so necessary.” 

Armstrong owns the Trading Post Café, Bent Street Café and Martyrs Steakhouse in Taos. She said being closed for so long was an emotional and financial drain but is hopeful for the reopening. 

“It has been a very challenging time but I know we will come out of this better than before,”  

Tables must be spaced six feet apart and bar seating and standing service is still prohibited indoors. 

Patio seating was opened to the state on Wednesday (May 27) and a number of restaurants in Taos took advantage of the opportunity. 

Lujan Grisham urged consumers to wear masks and stay six feet away from each other.

“This is really good news,” said Lujan Grisham during the conference. “People do need to go to work, businesses do need us as consumers.”

Lujan Grisham also allowed for the partial opening of hair salons, barber shops, massage parlors, nail salons and tattoo parlors. These businesses can open at 25 percent of their normal capacity. 

Bars must remain closed for the time being, but breweries and wineries can operate for curbside pick up. 

Gyms can open at half capacity and pools will be able to open for lap swim only. 

Hotels are also able to open to 50 percent of their normal capacity. The governor did not discuss the further opening of short-term rentals, which are only allowed to rent to New Mexico residents. 

Indoor malls may open on June 1 as well but congregating and loitering inside are not allowed. Because of this, Lujan Grisham said food courts  inside malls will not be allowed to operate yet. 

The governor also said state parks will remain open but camping is not yet allowed. 

Face coverings must still be worn in public and mass gatherings remain unsafe, according to Lujan Grisham. 

Most of the state has a rate of spread of less than the targeted 1.15. This means that an infected person potentially can transfer the virus to fewer than two people. 

The governor’s news comes as the state announced a total of 7,364 confirmed cases of coronavirus – 335 people have died due to complications of the virus and 196 remain hospitalized because of COVID-19. 

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