By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Starting Sunday, May 16, Denver is joining other metro area counties in lifting capacity limits and social distancing requirements. Several other Denver metro area counties are moving to Level Clear on Sunday.

(credit: CBS)

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock made the announcement on Friday afternoon during a news conference to discuss the arts and entertainment industry preparing for a busy summer.

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“We’ll be joining our metro neighbors and lifting capacity limits and distancing requirements Sunday, this coming Sunday… Denver, Colorado, get out, go to a restaurant, enjoy yourselves!” said Hancock.

A few hours after that announcement, the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment said the new public health orders surrounding COVID-19 will apply to most settings.

(credit CBS)

DDPHE released this information in regards to the new public health order:

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The revised public health order regarding capacity and distancing requirements includes the following changes:

  • There will be no capacity limits in offices, retail businesses, restaurants, personal services, or bars.
  • Restaurants will have no limit on party size.
  • Gyms, recreation centers, and pools can continue to operate at full capacity and will no longer have distancing requirements.

The following settings still have some limits and restrictions:

  • Indoor events of more than 500 people must get approval from DDPHE and CDPHE.
  • Outdoor seated and ticketed events in spaces 30,000 square feet or greater must get approval from DDPHE to increase their current capacity allowances.

According to the DDPHE: The Denver face-covering order will be revised to align with the State’s new face-covering order. Face coverings will not be required except in settings such as hospitals, childcare centers, homeless shelters, nursing homes and prisons. This rule will apply to children age 3 and older in Denver. Some private businesses, including grocery stores, large retailers and coffee shops, may also choose to continue requiring face coverings.

“Denver’s new face-covering order aligns with neighboring counties and the State’s requirements,” said Bob McDonald, Executive Director of Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, in a statement. “As a reminder, we encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated, to get vaccinated.”

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Denver’s 5-Star Business Certification Program is being suspended but said that if restrictions should be imposed in the future, the program will resume.

Jennifer McRae