By: Bob Sanders, NH Business Review
New Hampshire may join Vermont and Maine in effectively banning out-of-state lodging guests, Seacoast town beaches may open up with half-parking, daycare workers may not have to wear masks all the time and the current guidance for cosmetologists could expand to a wide range of services, including facials, tanning, massage and possibly tattoos.
All this might be decided Friday, as the state’s effort to open as quickly as possible under the constraints of public health.
The state’s Economic Reopening Task Force is planning to make some key votes on Friday, and the governor plans on making an announcement concerning reopening at his 3 p.m. press conference, DJ Bettencourt, the governor’s point person on the task force said at the task force’s Thursday meeting.
The task force also delved into whether to allow movie theaters, bowling alleys, driver’s education classes and larger foot races (like marathons). Next week it plans to take up charitable gaming.
The task force voted on Thursday to approve a regional beach plan, after some towns raised objections to the previously passed guidance to open up Hampton Beach. The recommendation, however, came without a date, and as of Thursday, the governor had not set one.
The new plan for the Seacoast bans public parking along Routes 1A and 1B, and limits parking on all parking lots to 50%. All beaches would be open to only transitory activity, which includes walking, swimming and boating, but not sitting on the beach or congregating in groups of more than 10.
The task force had asked for lodging and hotels to be open on Friday – at 50% occupancy for large hotels with indoor room access – but Governor Sununu asked representatives of the industry to look at the guidelines of Vermont and Maine, both of are allowing their hotels to open this weekend.
On Thursday, Mike Somers, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association, said that the guidelines were similar to New Hampshire’s, except that both neighboring states imposed a two-week quarantine on out-of-state guests. So he said he would propose to amend New Hampshire’s guidelines to include a similar restriction. Bettencourt scheduled a tentative vote on that for Friday.
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