Starting on Monday, May 18, St. Louis County will ease the stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The changes allow restaurants to serve food in their dining rooms, shops to reopen for walk-in customers, and houses of worship to hold services.

But county officials say that social distancing requirements are still in place as businesses reopen. They also suggest that residents continue to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people (indoors or outdoors).

Face coverings like masks are still recommended for people over age 2 in public spaces indoors and on public transit. They’re also recommended outdoors when a distance of 6 feet between people cannot be maintained. The guidance on hand washing hasn’t changed, either—keep washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water (or using hand sanitizer) and avoid touching your face.

  • Hair and nail salons are among the business that are allowed to reopen, so long as everyone working there wears masks. When possible, businesses will have to install barriers between customers and employees. Businesses will also be required to clean and sanitize surfaces more often.
     
  • All the county’s parks will also open again on Monday (although the playgrounds, restrooms, and other facilities will still be closed).
     
  • Businesses can refuse to allow customers to enter if they are not wearing a face covering. Likewise, riders on public transportation are required to wear masks. The only exceptions are for children under age 2 and people with medical reasons for not wearing a mask.
     
  • The number of people allowed inside businesses and religious institutions will be limited, depending on the size of the building. And some types of businesses can’t reopen yet, including entertainment venues, gyms, bars that don’t serve food, pools, sporting venues, and banquet centers. Day cares for parents who are not first responders will also stay closed in St. Louis County.
     
  • Individual businesses and churches will be able to decide whether or not to reopen on May 18—and many of those that do open will not be able to accommodate as many customers or visitors as before. It’s a good idea to call ahead or check online to find out more about the places you plan to visit.
     
  • Specific guidelines and public health orders for different types of businesses are available on the County’s website.