Governor Stitt announced a plan to start slowly opening the state in phases. Phase one begins this Friday.

During phase one, Stitt said Oklahoma will continue to follow the “safer at home” order for the elderly and vulnerable populations. People are urged to maximize distance from each other, avoid social gatherings in public and minimize nonessential travel.

Another part of this phase is for a personal care business will be allowed to be open by appointment only. This includes hair salons, barbershops, spas, nail salons and pet groomers. Businesses must maintain distance between customers and encourage customers to wait in their cars until their appointment, Stitt said.

Here is where I come in with the bad news. If a city has a shelter in place proclamation in Oklahoma, this does not mean that is going away. For instance, in Oklahoma City, they have a shelter in place until April 30th. A personal care business in Oklahoma City would still be closed until that shelter in place proclamation end date.

Starting May 1, businesses, including restaurants with dining rooms, gyms, sporting venues, and movie theaters can reopen statewide, Stitt said. However, they must follow strict social distancing and sanitation protocols. Places of worship can reopen for in-person meetings, staff and volunteers must wear masks while interacting with the public. Nursery areas must be kept closed at places of worship. Also bars remain closed during this first phase.

No word on when phase 2 will start in Oklahoma, but that is when bars will open back up. He also says organized sports activities can reopen while following social distancing guidelines and sanitation protocols.Funerals and weddings can resume with more than 10 people. Children’s area and nurseries at places of worship can reopen.

Phase 3 will be announced once phase 2 is put into place. We will see how things go just north of us in Oklahoma.