The four Nebraska counties that remain under tougher coronavirus restrictions than the rest of the state will see their rules ease Monday.

Dakota, Hall, Hamilton and Merrick Counties will join the rest of the state under Phase 3 directed health measures, which means they’ll be able to further open large gatherings, bars, restaurants, child care centers and a number of other places.

Specifically, bars and restaurants will be able to go up to 100% of capacity, and people will be allowed to sit at the bar.

Gyms, salons, barbershops and various parlors can go to 75% of occupancy.

Arenas, theaters, fairgrounds, festivals and stadiums can go up to 50% of rated occupancy indoors and 75% outdoors. Maximum attendance is not to exceed 10,000. Within that, groups can’t have more than eight people, and groups are suggested to be 6 feet apart.

Hospitals and other health centers can schedule surgeries as they see fit. Child care centers can expand, with limits.

Parades, carnivals, midways, dances, street dances and beer gardens remain prohibited.

Gov. Pete Ricketts has not determined when a move to Phase 4 of the health measures will begin, but the state has provided a description of what that stage will include so that counties can begin planning.

Bars, restaurants, child care centers, churches, weddings, funerals, sports and many other gatherings and businesses would be removed from the health measures, but recommendations would remain.


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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Email: nancy.gaarder@owh.com

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