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Masks, barriers and handwashing | St. Louis releases specifics on phase 1 of reopening plan

Bars, restaurants, hair salons and retail stores can all reopen if they follow specific guidelines

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Department of Health released more information about the first phase of the reopening plan in St. Louis and St. Louis County Monday night.

In it, the health department said gyms, casinos and attractions like the Saint Louis Zoo and Saint Louis Science Center will remain closed, while businesses that are allowed to reopen will need to follow rules that include requiring all employees to wear masks.

Phase one will allow restaurants in the city to open dining rooms as long as tables are 6 feet apart, and retail shops will be allowed to reopen provided social distancing and disinfecting protocols are followed.

Personal services like hair and nail salons and tattoo parlors will also be allowed to open, but employees must wear masks and wash hands between customers.

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The plan breaks facilities and businesses allowed to reopen into 10 groups:

  • Offices
  • Hotels and commercial lodging
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail stores and malls
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Personal services
  • Transportation
  • Churches
  • Childcare facilities
  • Parks, playgrounds and pools

The plan provides specific guidance for each type of business allowed to reopen.

Offices, for example, should keep employees working from home if at all possible. If employees need to come to an office building for work, the guidance says they should be required to wear a mask and be screened for symptoms every day. Employers should also arrange for frequent disinfecting, arrange for social distancing in the workplace and install protective barriers between employees where possible. 

Five other groups will remain closed in phase one. Those groups are:

  • Ballrooms, banquet rooms and meeting rooms
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Casinos
  • Sports stadiums
  • Cultural institutions/destinations and attractions/large venues

The plan says schools should follow guidelines from their local jurisdiction as well as from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and CDC.

General guidance for all businesses is as follows:

Social Distancing

  • Maintain six (6) feet of distance between employees and consumers
    • Consider installing physical barriers between customers and employees
    • Consider using tape or other means to increase compliance with social distancing recommendations
    • Educate employees on all procedures related to social distancing requirements
    • Post signage regarding face coverings, hygiene, and social distancing for employees and customers
    • Consider providing separate operating hours for vulnerable populations and highrisk individuals to allow for maximum social distancing
    • Consider other techniques to increase social distancing such as staggered shifts, etc.
    • Encourage telework where feasible
  • Retail establishments must comply with the State of Missouri’s order regarding capacity restrictions

Personal Protective Equipment - Facemasks; Gloves

  • Provide face masks, or supplies to make face masks, to all employees and volunteers working in the business
  • Require employees or volunteers to wear face masks at work, unless an employee or volunteer is working alone in an enclosed area or is working outside and maintaining social distancing
  • Gloves should be worn where appropriate


  • Provide breaks for employees for hand washing or sanitizing opportunities throughout the day
  • Make hand sanitizer available at building openings for the public


  • Perform proper cleaning per CDC guidelines
  • Provide material and education regarding proper cleaning procedures
  • Require employees to routinely disinfect all high touch surfaces including any areas frequently touched by customers or employees

Employee Screening

Click the links below for the full guidance for the different businesses:


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Childcare facilities

Parks, playgrounds and pools

  • Parks remain open provided social distancing can be maintained
  • Playgrounds and pools should remain closed
  • Contact-sports courts/facilities remain closed (i.e. handball, basketball, soccer, etc.)

Click here for the full plan.

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