Skip to main content
King County logo

Phase 2 guidance and requirements by industry, posters for re-opening, funding opportunities, and more resources for businesses and workplaces.

Business owners with questions about how the emergency orders apply to them can contact the governor’s office via webform at:

Find a full list of current reopening guidance here.

Phase 2 Requirements by Business Type

Activity area Phase 2 Permitted Activities and Limitations
Agricultural events

Activities allowed: These guidelines apply to livestock and horse exhibitions/shows/sales/auctions, companion animal (dog, cats, rabbits, etc.) shows, or any substantially similar event.


Activities allowed: Agritourism such as U-pick farms and tree farms are allowed to operate following certain requirements.

Phase 2 requirements for agritourism


Limitations: The new Commercial Service Airport Requirements are a statewide approach that sets baseline requirements at each commercial passenger service airport. It also encourages airlines to adopt certain health screening questionnaires, and to require passengers abide by face covering and physical distancing requirements in order to be issued a boarding pass.

Phase 2 requirements for airports


Activities allowed: League play is allowed as long as facilities meet certain requirements.

Phase 2 guidance for bowling


Activities allowed: All construction, including new work and where social distancing may not be maintained.

Domestic services

Activities allowed: Any worker (hourly, salaried, independent contractor, full-time, part-time, or temporary) who is paid by one or more employer and provides domestic services to an individual or household in/about a private home as a nanny, house cleaner, cook, private chef, or household manager.


Limitations: Outdoor training is preferred, but when indoors, the following new limitations apply, including: Increased social distancing of 300 square feet and wearing face coverings indoors, 5 individuals max (not counting staff) or 25% capacity for facilities larger than 12,000 square feet. Indoor fitness places include but are not limited to gyms, studios and sports facilities.


Limitations: Receptions and ceremonies must be capped at 30 people, or 25% of venue occupancy, whichever is less. All tables at the reception must be seated by household, with table sizes capped at 5 people. Facial coverings are required, and social distancing must be maintained

Grocery stores

Activities allowed: As an essential business, grocery stores continue to serve customers and follow guidance for keeping customers and employees safe.

Limitations: Grocery stores must apply social distancing, employee safety recommendations, sanitation practices, prohibit food sampling and self-serve stations.

Healthcare and Service Providers

Limitations: Healthcare and service providers can use the following up-to-date resources to prepare for and respond to cases of COVID-19 in their facility, and protect the health of clients, patients, and staff.

Higher education

Activities allowed: All non-lecture based higher education and workforce training, including where social distancing may not be maintained.

In-store retail

Limitations: All retail activities are subject to Phase 2 guidance, including but not limited to gondolas, zoos and aquariums, guided fishing, and all other similar activities, which restricts capacity to 30 percent.


Activities allowed: Libraries may operate as long as they meet certain requirements and limit capacity to 25 percent.

Long-term care facilities

Long-term care facilities in King County that have not had a case in the past 28 days and who adhere to guidance regarding testing and PPE will progress to Phase 2 of the new Safe Start Plan for Long Term Care Facilities, effective 8/12.

Activities allowed: Indoor visits for compassionate care situations, outdoor visits, window visits, and remote visitation. Some group activities.

Limitations: All visits and activities must follow strict safety protocols, including masking, social distancing, and appropriate hygiene.

Manufacturing operations

Limitations: All manufacturing activities are subject to Phase 2 guidance.

Miscellaneous venues

Activities allowed: Business meetings, training, and testing (or substantially similar activity) that can't be conducted virtually, so long as all requirements are met.

Limitations: Indoor capacity in each room or separate building is limited to 30% capacity (per fire marshal code) or 200 people, whichever is less, as long as six feet of physical distance can be maintained by all attendees. Any food service provided to attendees shall be self‐contained, pre-plated, grab‐and‐go meals/snacks to limit contact. Receptions (other than for limited weddings and funerals), networking events, and live-entertainment are prohibited.

Movie theaters

Activities allowed: Drive-in and 25 percent capacity indoors.


Activities allowed: Museums may operate as long as they meet certain requirements and limit capacity to 25 percent.

Personal services

Activities allowed: All personal services including Cosmetologists, Hairstylists, Barbers, Estheticians, Master Estheticians, Manicurists, Nail Salon Workers, Electrologists, Permanent Makeup Artists, Tattoo Artists, Cosmetology Schools and Esthetics Schools.

Limitations: All personal services are subject to Phase 2 guidance which restricts customer occupancy to 50% with the exception of one to one services in an enclosed room.

Pet grooming

Activities allowed: All pet grooming services including any location provided by an individual, or at a retail, veterinary, or other facility.

Limitations: All pet grooming services are subject to Phase 2 guidance which restricts client occupancy to 50%.

Professional photography

Limitations: All professional photography services are subject to Phase 2 guidance which restricts services to appointment only and for one client (and family member, if client is a minor) at any given time. Group sessions are not allowed unless the group consists of immediate family only.

Professional services

Activities allowed: Accountants, architects, attorneys, engineers, financial advisors, information technologists, insurance agents, tax preparers, and other office-based occupations that are typically serving a client base.

Limitations: All professional services are subject to Phase 2 guidance which restricts guest occupancy to 50% of a building's occupancy with the exception of one to one service in a fully enclosed room.

Real estate (residential and commercial)

Activities allowed: All real estate brokers, firms, independent contractors and industry partners.

Limitations: Open houses limited to 5 people.

Religious and faith organizations

Activities allowed: All religious and faith-based organizations may operate services including worship services; religious study classes; religious ceremonies; religious holiday celebrations, weddings, and funerals. Remote or outdoor services are recommended in Phase 2.

Limitations: All religious and faith based activities are subject to Phase 2 guidance which generally restricts indoor services to the lesser of 25% capacity or 200 individuals as long as 6 feet of distance is kept between people from different households. In-home services/counseling is restricted to no more than five individuals. Limitations on capacity does not include an organization's staff, but does include volunteers.

Residential Communities

Limitations: Housing managers, staff and residents can practice and encourage social distancing, wear face coverings, manage and limit use of common areas, frequently clean high-touch areas, limit visitors, and more to protect themselves and their residential community.

Restaurants and taverns

New Limitations, in effect 10/6: Alcohol service ends at 11 p.m. and indoor dining limited to six people at a table, and 50 percent seating capacity indoors and outdoors.


Limitations: Veterinary staff should follow public health guidance for essential workers, including staying home when sick and implementing flexible sick leave policies. Additional precautions should be implemented to protect staff and visitors in the workplace, including wearing a cloth face covering. Veterinary facilities should postpone elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent veterinary visits and should make a plan to support sick and injured pets through measures such as telemedicine, curbside services, and online payment/billing.


New Limitations, in effect 9/16: Receptions and ceremonies must be capped at 30 people, or 25% of venue occupancy, whichever is less. Facial coverings are required, and social distancing must be maintained.

Activity area Phase 2 Permitted Activities and Limitations

Limitations: Outdoor training is preferred, but when indoors, the following new limitations apply, including: Increased social distancing of 300 square feet and wearing face coverings indoors, 5 individuals max (not counting staff) or 25% capacity for facilities larger than 12,000 square feet. Indoor fitness places include but are not limited to gyms, studios and sports facilities.

Outdoor Races

Activities allowed: Outdoor biking, running, kayak and canoe, and cross country skiing competitions with more than 12 participants are allowed, including triathlons, marathons, and more.

Limitations: Fun runs and charity walks without participant timing are not allowed.

Outdoor Recreation

Activities allowed: Staffed outdoor tennis facilities; guided ATV, paddle sports, and horseback riding; go-cart tracks, ORV/motocross facilities, participant only motorsports

Limitations: The above outdoor recreation activities are subject to Phase 2 guidance and are generally limited to groups of five participants or less, in some instances up to 12 individuals or three households are permitted.

Professional/Adult/Youth Sports

Activities allowed: Activities allowed: Golf, professional sporting activities indoor and outdoor; indoor and outdoor youth team sports and adult recreational team sports.

New guidance aligns school related and non-school related sports guidance, and allows more school and non-school sports, both indoor and outdoor.

The key metrics consider both the "risk of transmission" associated with the the sport/activity and the level of COVID-19 activity in the county. For example:

  • low risk sports = golf, tennis, cross country, non-contact dance and more.
  • moderate risk sports = soccer, baseball, hockey, gymnastics and more.
  • high risk sports = football, basketball, wrestling, and more.

King County is currently at the HIGH LEVEL COUNTY COVID ACTIVITY > 75 cases/100K/14 days AND < 5% positivity.

Once a county is confirmed to be at a HIGH activity level, full practices and matches cannot be played for two weeks, when the level can be assessed again.

It is important to know that this number changes and is updated daily.


  • Team practices and/or training OK for low, medium, and high risk sports if players are limited to groups of six in separate parts of the field/court, separated by a buffer zone.
  • Any practice or training activities that can be done outdoors should be done outdoors.
  • Scrimmage, intra-team competitions, and league games or competition allowed for low risk sports. No tournaments allowed.
  • No spectators allowed except for one parent/guardian/caregiver for each minor-aged participant. No spectators allowed for participants 18 and older.

Limitations: Specific protocols for transportation, group size and facial coverings. Indoor facilities must adhere to overall capacity limits detailed in the Indoor Fitness and Training Guidelines.

Social and Recreational Gatherings Limitations: Individuals may gather with five or fewer people from outside their household per week. 
Water Recreation Facilities

Limitations: By appointment only.

Social Gatherings vs. Business Activities

Social gatherings must not exceed 5 persons in Phase 2. A gathering refers to a social setting in which non-household members convene, indoors or outside. Social gatherings are a leading vector of COVID-19; sustained close contact with non-household members is known to be a source of spread.

Of note, whether indoors or outdoors, group counseling sessions must follow the social gatherings limitations for Phase 2. Counselors and facilitators are not counted. Neighborhood and association meetings, such as HOA/COAs, must also not exceed 5 persons, whether indoors or outdoors.

Business activity is treated differently than social gatherings By contrast, business activity generally refers to commercial activity or organized events. Business activity is limited by a percentage of capacity or a standard for social distancing on the business property.

The Phase 2 guidance for professional services limits capacity to 50 percent of a business' space. However, if the business is using an external location like an event venue, it must follow the gathering limitations of the county in which the occurrence will take place. In King County the limit is 5 people.

Weddings and funerals, religious organizations and restaurants have specific Safe Start regulations that take precedence over gathering limits.

Re-opening Toolkit: Safe Start materials to print for your business

The following toolkit includes all the materials you need to print for reference and to display, to help reopen and operate your business safely.

Available in Spanish.

Safe Work Plan

Operating Tools

Posters for Customers

Posters for Employees

Click here to download and print the entire toolkit (22.4 MB PDF)

Culturally and linguistically relevant help is available in-language for small businesses and nonprofits looking to find and apply for resources, access translation assistance, plan for recovery and safe re-opening, and more.

Re-opening Requirements for All Businesses

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has posted complete Phase 1 and 2 Workplace Safety and Health Requirements and a helpful summary of guidance. You can also find more information for specific sectors on Gov. Jay Inslee's website.

Post COVID-19 policies in a language your employees can understand. Inform them about the symptoms and risk factors associated with the virus; the importance of frequent and thorough handwashing and social distancing; and the need to stay home when sick. King County has educational materials in many languages to help employers fulfill this requirement.

This poster explains basic information for employees:

Reopening business poster for staff: Workplace requirements during COVID-19

Reopening business poster for staff: Workplace requirements during COVID-19

Slides on safety requirements for workplaces can be used for employee education. (Powerpoint)

Maintain at least six feet of separation between employees and customers at all times, including between tables at restaurants, customers waiting in line, and people using elevators. Businesses may need to print posters encouraging this behavior, such as only allowing 1-2 people per elevator depending on the size of the cab, or place tape or markers on the floor six feet apart.

When strict physical distancing is not feasible for a specific task, other measures are required, such as installing barriers, reducing staff or staggering worker hours.

Provide cloth face coverings and require employees to wear them unless they are working alone or have a condition that makes wearing a mask dangerous. Workers can wear their own face coverings, provided they meet minimum requirements.

Some jobs require higher levels of personal protective equipment because they have a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. You can find information about additional face coverings in Labor and Industries’ Which Mask for Which Task.

Provide cloth masks and require employees to wear them unless they are working alone or have a condition that makes wearing a mask dangerous.

More information about face coverings and King County's Face Covering Directive:

Require frequent handwashing and provide the necessary supplies. Supplies may include additional sinks or stations where employees can wash their hands. If regular handwashing with soap and water is not possible employers must supply hand sanitizer.

Download handwashing posters in multiple languages:

Provide disposable gloves where appropriate to prevent virus transmission on shared tools and other equipment.

Regularly clean and sanitize your workplace, especially frequently touched surfaces. Each workplace should establish a cleaning schedule and ensure that high-touch areas are routinely sanitized.

Check to see if employees have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 at the start of their shift. Use this COVID-19 Screening Tool and keep a log that the screening process was followed for all employees.

If they do, send them home and advise them to seek testing.

Exposed employees with a known exposure time (no longer than a day) should be tested no sooner than 48 hours from their exposure date.

Due to limited lab capacity for processing tests, only people with symptoms or who are close contacts of confirmed cases should get tested.

Unless they work in health care or long-term care facilities, employers should not require workers to submit a negative COVID-19 test result or a positive antibody test before starting a job or returning to work after recovering from the virus.

Workers can return when at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared, and at least 24 hours have passed since their fever resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications, and their other symptoms have improved.

Post a sign near your business entrance strongly encouraging customers to wear cloth masks.

Consider making this a requirement for all customers.

Reopening business poster for customers: Prevent the spread of COVID-19

Some people are exempt from mask requirements for health and safety reasons. Reference this toolkit and educate employees to understand mask exemptions.

Protect one another: Wear a face covering and keep 6 feet apart from others in public spaces.

This poster asking customers to wear face coverings is available multiple languages:

It is against the law for any employer to fire or retaliate against a worker for reporting concerns about health and safety. In addition, Governor Inslee has ordered that employees in high-risk groups for COVID-19 must be granted leave if they can't report to work for health reasons. Read the guidance memo for Proclamation 20-46.1 about "High-Risk Employees – Workers’ Rights" here.

FAQs about high-risk workers

Can office workers be required to return to the workplace?

Yes. While much office work might be performed remotely, some employers may wish to return some workers to the workplace. The governor's Professional Services COVID-19 Requirements do not preclude or prevent this - employers may require some employees to return. High-risk workers, however, must be afforded "reasonable accommodation" to reduce their risk of infection.

If a worker is "high-risk" but has exhausted their sick and vacation time, what can they do if alternative work arrangements cannot be made?

High-risk workers are generally protected from adverse employment action under the proclamation, although employers are not obligated to pay beyond any accrued paid time off. 

According to Proclamation 20-46.2, "Employers are prohibited from failing to utilize all available options for alternative work assignments to protect high-risk employees, if requested, from exposure to the COVID-19 disease, including but not limited to telework, alternative or remote work locations, reassignment, and social distancing measures."

In short, the employer must consider alternative work arrangements for high-risk workers. If impossible, the employer is not obligated to pay for unworked hours, but may not take adverse employment action.

Effective July 7, the Governor's Safe Start Proclamation requires employers in King County (in non-healthcare settings) to notify Public Health – Seattle & King County *within 24 hours* if they suspect COVID is spreading in their workplace or if there are two or more confirmed or suspected cases among their employees in a 14 day period.

More information about what to do if an employee has COVID, and how to report.

Additional Toolkits

Find Face Coverings and Masks

Chambers and business organizations throughout King County have joined together to get face coverings, disposable masks, and hand sanitizer to businesses in King County. Businesses can go to for more information.

Learn how to request masks from King County

Funding Opportunities

Check with your city to learn whether there are currently funding opportunities available in addition to the opportunities below.


For non-medical questions about COVID-19, including compliance and business related issues, contact King County COVID-19 Business and Community Information Line at 206-296-1608, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you are a food business owner or a food worker and have questions related to your operation, please reach out to your Health Investigator or call 206-263-9566 to speak with office staff.

Restaurants and Taverns

Safe Start for Taverns and Restaurants (SSTAR)

King County's Safe Start for Taverns and Restaurants (SSTAR) program provides education and materials to help restaurants implement state and public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It also increases the accountability of food service establishments to abide by the health and safety standards that support a safe reopening.

Visit the STTAR website for guidelines for restaurants and other food businesses.

Phase 2 guidelines for restaurants, taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries