In a live press conference on March 17, Southeast Utah Health Department Director Bradon Bradford announced a mandatory "soft" closure of restaurants, bars and other public gathering places for Emery, Carbon and Grand Counties. The order also bars hotels and other lodging from checking in any guests who are not from one of those counties or can prove they are working in the area.
"This is a new and significant action," said Bradford, "but we anticipate this is what will best protect, for now, the residents of Carbon County, Emery County and Grand County."
The restrictions on lodging will impact the Moab region heavily, as the area sees thousands of tourists every weekend.
The restrictions in the order will begin at 10 p.m. March 17 and will remain effective for 30 days. The order will be reevaluated in 14 days.
The order's restrictions are as below:
All dine-in restaurants, cafes and bars in Carbon, Emery, and Grand Counties will close to the public immediately. With permission from the Southeast Utah Health Department, restaurants and others may begin to offer curbside take-out or drive-thru services. Cash payments are discouraged and the health department has provided guidance on hygiene policies for workers.
Hotels, Motels, Campsites
All overnight lodging, including hotels, guest homes, RV parks and all campsites, are prohibited from renting or leasing to anyone except Carbon, Emery, and Grand County residents and "essential visitors," defined as those working within the counties.
Movie Theatres, Performance Venues, Gyms, Etc.
All theatres, performance venues, and "public gathering places" (including museums, gyms, indoor recreation facilities and more) will close to the public immediately.
Churches, and private clubs and lodges that do not sell or serve alcohol or food during the duration of this order, are exempt from this order.