Anchorage lifts capacity restrictions on most businesses

ANCHORAGE (AP) - Anchorage will lift its coronavirus-related capacity restrictions on many businesses and will ease limits on other places where people gather under a new emergency order set to take effect March 8.

City officials announced the changes March 4, saying retailers, bars, restaurants and other businesses will have their capacity restrictions eliminated.

Requirements for wearing masks and maintaining distance will remain in effect.

Businesses must operate in ways that allow consumers to stay six feet apart from

people outside of their households.

Indoor gatherings with food and beverages will be allowed to have 25 people, while indoor gatherings without food or drinks can have up to 35 people. Previously, up to 10 were allowed with food or beverage around, and up to 15 people without food or drinks.

Outdoor gatherings with food and drink will be permitted to have to 60 people, and the same gatherings without food or drink can have up to 100 people. That doubles the prior allowances.

Entertainment venues such as theaters will be allowed to operate at full capacity as long as patrons wear masks. Groups of people must stay six feet apart.

Gyms and fitness centers will have no capacity restrictions, but masks and social distancing will remain mandated.

Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson’s announcement came about a week after pressure from some Assembly members to remove capacity restrictions and rescind Anchorage’s mask mandate.

City officials cited a decline in cases and an increasing number of vaccinations for easing the restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus case rates in the city are about similar to what they were in early fall of 2020, a period that preceded a major spike in cases that threatened the city’s health care capacity.

About 65,000 people in Anchorage, a municipality of nearly 289,000 people, have received at least one dose of the vaccine.


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