News & Media
LITTLE ROCK – Indoor venues such as theaters, arenas, stadiums, and auction houses that are designed for large groups may reopen on May 18 on a limited basis, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced at his daily COVID-19 press conference today.
The Arkansas Department of Health issued a directive today that allows the venues to open for audiences of fewer than 50 and that requires strict social distance among performers, contestants, and members of the audience.
“We are attempting to move past the restrictions that have been necessary during this pandemic, but we must do so in a manner that is based on solid data,” Governor Hutchinson said today. “I am confident this measured reopening is the best approach that will allow us to enjoy these entertainment venues again. As we cautiously emerge from this difficult time, we will keep an eye on data for any evidence that we are moving too quickly.”
This directive covers indoor venues for commercial, community, or civic events and activities where an audience, spectators, or a gathering of people are present, such as concerts, plays, movies, lectures, presentations, conferences, conventions, sporting events, races, fundraisers, trade shows, and festivals.
Venues include auditoriums, lecture halls, movie theatres, other theatres, museums, arenas, sports venues, race tracks, stadiums, gymnasiums, auction houses, amusement centers, barns, exhibit halls, conventions centers, and funeral homes. The list of venues also includes recreational facilities such as bowling alleys and trampoline parks.
Gatherings subject to this directive also include, without limitation, community, civic, public, leisure, commercial, or sporting events.
This directive is not intended for gatherings of people in unconfined outdoor spaces, such as parks or athletic fields, where physical distancing of at least six feet can be easily achieved. Those may open today, May 4.
Nor is this directive intended for houses of worship, which are addressed under a separate guidance.
The ADH issued this directive today in regard to reopening large venues:
Find the Arkansas Department of Health directive for large indoor venues HERE.
The directive for large outdoor venues from the Arkansas Department of Health can be found HERE.
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If you are not a member of the media and have questions or concerns about COVID-19, you can contact the Arkansas Department of Health at 1-800-803-7847 or visit ar.gov/COVID.