Kansas to enter Phase 2 of reopening plan Friday: Theaters open, bars stay closed



Kansas Governor Laura Kelly speaks on Tuesday at a news conference about the coronavirus. She said the state will move into a “slightly modified” Phase 2 of its reopening plan this Friday.

Kansas will ease restrictions on mass gatherings and allow some entertainment venues to reopen on Friday, Governor Laura Kelly announced Tuesday.

The steps are part of the next phase in Kelly’s plan to reopen the state after a shutdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

In the “slightly modified” Phase 2, Kelly said movie theaters and bowling alleys will be allowed to open, while bars, night clubs and swimming pools must stay closed. Mass gatherings of up to 15 people will be permitted.

Organized sports and practice will also be allowed, but participants must adhere to the state’s social distancing guidelines.

“Right now, the data tell us it is time for another step forward in opening as quickly as possible but still doing it as safely as possible,” Kelly said. “By being proactive and aggressive in our initial response, we’ve managed to stave off some of the worst aspects of this disease that we have seen take hold in other states.”

Phase 2 guidelines:

  • Mass gatherings over 15 are restricted
  • Theaters, arcades, trampoline parks, museums and bowling alleys can open
  • State-owned casinos can open, but they must comply with health guidelines
  • Large venues, festivals, fairs and parades are shut down
  • Organized sports and practices are allowed, but they must follow social distancing guidelines
  • Bars, night clubs and swimming pools remain closed

County officials have the authority to impose stricter regulations, if they choose.

Kelly said Kansas is on-track to enter Phase 3 on July 8, with a mass gathering limit of 45. As of 9 a.m. Monday, the state reported 8,340 cases across 84 counties, with 173 deaths.

Kelly said the decision was not influenced by her scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump this Wednesday.

Wichita State plans to enter the first phase of its own reopening plan on Tuesday, May 26.