Tennessee Reopens Performance Venues, So Long As Singer Has A 15-Foot Spit Zone

May 21, 2020

Except in six large Tennessee counties, including Davidson County, performance venues will be allowed to reopen alongside less restrictive rules for retail and restaurants.
Credit Tony Gonzalez | WPLN News

The state of Tennessee is now allowing restaurants and retail businesses to increase capacity, so long as social-distancing recommendations can still be met.

Starting this weekend, establishments will no longer have capacity restrictions. And entertainment venues can reopen, though they have some very specific guidance that was just released Wednesday afternoon (listed here, like suspending “pop-up” performances that might gather an uncontrollable crowd).

At performance venues, musicians are supposed to be kept 15 feet away from audiences as a sort of spit zone, since singing expels more germs than speaking does.

Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville, says it’s becoming more important that businesses study the guidance for their particular sectors.

“The more that we relax state government as it relates to this oversight, if you will, the more difficult and detailed the information is probably going to be,” he says.

Water parks, theaters, zoos and large museums can also reopen, though the state is recommending symptom screening and managing the flow of crowds.

The six counties that operate their own health departments, including Davidson County, still have to make their own decisions. Nashville remains in a more restrictive phase of its reopening process.