Casinos, amusement parks get nod to reopen
DES MOINES — More businesses and recreation areas will be able to reopen after Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced changes to the emergency proclamation at her Tuesday press conference.
The latest reopenings to be allowed starting June 1 include casinos, amusement parks, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades, skating rinks, skate parks, outdoor playgrounds, racetracks and outdoor performance venues. Sports gatherings of more than 10 for practices or games will also be allowed along with other social, community, recreational and leisure gatherings and events. These openings will still follow required social distancing guidelines and facilities will be held to just 50 percent of normal operating capacity.
“For our state, recovery means striking a balance between getting life and business back to normal while continuing to manage the virus activity,” Reynolds said. “Our recovery is contingent on our ability to protect both the lives and livelihoods of Iowans. We can’t prioritize one over the other. We must prioritize both to move forward.”
The guidance for businesses which have already reopened will also apply to those set to reopen on June 1. Any other businesses which are not currently open or set to reopen will continue to be closed through June 17. The other restrictions to those areas allowed to reopen are extended through that same date.
“I will continue to evaluate in the coming weeks whether any of these measures should be adjusted further,” Reynolds said.
The governor is also allowing the moratorium on foreclosures, evictions and other debt collection activities to expire starting May 28.
“I know that some Iowans who have experienced a reduction in income due to COVID-19 may have difficulty paying their rent or mortgage payments in the months to come,” Reynolds said. “To provide continued relief to those families, I will be allocating funding through the state’s allocation of the federal CARES Act funds for the creation of a COVID-19 eviction and foreclosure prevention program which will be administered by Iowa Finance Authority.”
Reynolds added that further details on the program will be announced in the coming days.