Boise updates ‘social distancing’ order: Which businesses must comply – and which are exempt

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Yesterday, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean issued a social distancing order for the City of Boise. Late Tuesday, the city issued an updated version of the order that gives more clarity on what is and is not exempt. It’s the latest effort by McLean to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the city.

The order goes into effect tonight (March 24) at midnight. It requires any business that’s open to the public to make sure folks are kept six feet apart. Family members who live in the same household are exempt.

The city removed language around “groups of ten” to cut down on confusion, McLean said.

If a business can’t comply with the order to keep folks six feet apart, they must close, according to the order.

The city added a long list of exempted business activities, detailed below.

Some of you asked if personal services like nail and hair salons must close. In short, yes. Boise City Council pro tem Holli Woodings addressed those owners in a Facebook post. She noted keeping customers and workers six feet apart, as required, would not be possible.

City parks also fit under the order, and McLean said at a city council meeting that members of the public must stay six feet apart.

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The order is in place for 30 days.

Exempt businesses

The city detailed nearly two-dozen types of businesses that do not have to comply with the order, most prominently, medical facilities. Here’s the rest of the list:

  • Essential government services
  • Grocery stores, food cultivation, produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fruits, vegetables, pet supplies, met, liquor, beer, wine, and other household consumer products.
  • Commercial and social services providing take-out or delivery food services.
  • Stores that sell products necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential operations.
  • Necessary office supplies for telecommuting, learning and working from home.
  • Goods or services needed for the operation of other essential businesses
  • Social services
  • Healthcare goods and services, including home-based care.
  • News and media services, including newspaper, television and radio.
  • Gas and service stations, automotive and bicycle repair services.
  • Airlines and airport operations.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Household services such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, landscapers, and other related service providers.
  • Veterinary and animal care services.
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services.
  • Professional services such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to comply with legally required activities.
  • Banks and financial institutions, wholesale funding, insurance services and capital markets.
  • Mail, shipping and delivery services.
  • Essential infrastructure services, such as public works construction, commercial and residential construction, airport operations, water wastewater, solid waste, gas, electricity, telecommunication systems, internet and other utility services.
  • Taxis, public transit, and other transportation providers providing transportation for essential or exempted activities.
  • Emergency childcare for exempt workers.
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