The Municipality of Anchorage will lift outdoor gathering restrictions in a new COVID-19 emergency order that takes effect later this week.
Also, the new emergency order will remain in effect either until it is revoked or until the city’s health department certifies that 70% of eligible Anchorage residents are fully vaccinated, according to the order. Right now, about 36% of Anchorage residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the order.
The order, called “Do It For Summer,” emphasizes vaccinations, masking and social distancing as avenues toward a more normal summer season for residents and tourists.
Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson is announcing the emergency order one day before the Anchorage Assembly will decide whether to extend the city’s emergency proclamation, which gives the mayor the power to issue emergency orders. The Assembly must renew the proclamation or all emergency orders fall out of effect after Friday.
Emergency Order 20 replaces the current order, EO-19, and goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday. The order keeps much of the same indoor gathering, masking and social distancing requirements currently in effect.
• Outdoor gatherings no longer have limits. That means outdoor graduation ceremonies, outdoor sporting events have no limit on the number of attendees. Masks and social distancing requirements remain in place.
• For indoor gatherings, much is the same in this emergency order, with one exception: Large ballrooms or conference spaces can hold seated events with up to four times the current indoor gathering limits, as long as there is 6 feet of distance between tables.
• Organized indoor sports will be able to have more spectators. Four spectators per athlete will be allowed instead of the current two. (Outdoor competitions have no spectator limit other than social distancing.)
• The city is setting a vaccination goal of 70% among its eligible residents. Once that is reached, EO-20 will no longer be compulsory.
According to the order, indoor gatherings with food and drink will remain limited to 25 people, while indoor gatherings without food and drink are limited to 35 people.
Businesses such as restaurants, bars, theaters and others that serve the public in person are required to keep six feet of physical distance between groups of customers.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.