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Nashville’s roadmap for reopening

Apr 24, 2020

UPDATED: May 7, 2020

Mayor Cooper has ordered Phase 1 of Metro Nashville’s Roadmap for Reopening to begin May 11. Restaurants and stores can open at half capacity starting Monday.

The Roadmap is a four-phase plan to restart the city’s economy. In order to initiate the reopening plan, the city will be required to meet the following criteria:

  • Proof of a decline or flat cases of COVID-19 over a 14-day period;
  • Adequate testing and PPE capacity in the region; and
  • A robust public health infrastructure to conduct contact tracing cases.

Mayor Cooper confirmed that the decision to reopen will be driven by data and will not focus on a specific target date. When Nashville’s Safer at Home order expires on May 8, Metro health officials will evaluate case data and other metrics collected over the past 14 days to determine if there has been a positive, stable improvement necessary to begin Phase One of the reopening plan. From May 1 until May 8, Davidson County health data must show an average of 80 or fewer new cases per day in order to maintain or improve a downward trajectory in the 14 day metric of new cases.

Each phase of the plan outlines specific operating requirements for commercial and retail businesses, in addition to mass gathering limitations and public health precautions.


Phase One

  • Commercial and retail businesses, including restaurants, may open and will be required to:
    • Operate at half capacity.
    • Screen all employees daily for respiratory symptoms and fever.
    • Clean facilities and set explicit guidelines to maintain hygiene and wearing of face coverings for employees and patrons.
    • Bar areas must remain closed, as well as live music.
    • Self-service and shared condiments are prohibited.
  • Schools, bars, personal care businesses (hair salons, nail salons, etc.), gyms and fitness facilities, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and sports venues will remain closed.
  • Beginning April 30, routine and elective medical and dental procedures may be performed on patients under the age of 70.
  • No gatherings over 10 people will be permitted.
  • Except when performing essential services, individuals over age 65 and those with high risk factors should remain at home.
  • Work from home should continue whenever possible.
  • Cloth masks are encouraged to be worn in public.


If, after a minimum of 14 days in Phase One, the trend of new cases continues to decline or remains flat, Nashville may proceed to Phase Two of reopening.


Phase Two

  • Commercial and retail businesses, including restaurants, will be permitted to increase to 3/4 operating capacity.
    • Businesses will still be required to screen employees daily and mandate that employees wear masks.
  • Personal care businesses, including salons and tattoo shops, may open by appointment only.
    • No walk-ins permitted.
    • Limit number of staff and customers to 10.
    • Employees must be screened daily and required to wear masks.
  • Playgrounds, tennis courts, and basketball courts may reopen and must adhere to social distancing measures.
  • Small gatherings of 50 or fewer people will be permitted with strict physical distancing protocols implemented, including meetings, religious services, and weddings.
  • Schools, bars, gyms and fitness facilities, and sports facilities will remain closed.
  • Routine and elective medical and dental procedures may be performed on patients of all age groups.
  • Except when performing essential services, individuals over age 65 and those with high risk factors should remain at home.
  • Work from home should continue whenever possible.
  • Cloth masks are encouraged to be worn in public.

If there is a significant increase in active cases during Phase Two, Nashville will be required to revert to Phase One. If, after a minimum of 14 days in Phase Two, the trend of new cases continues to decline or remains flat, Nashville may proceed to Phase Three of reopening.


Phase Three

  • Commercial and retail businesses, including restaurants, may open at full capacity while maintaining physical distancing.
    • Businesses will still be required to screen employees daily and mandate that employees wear masks.
    • Bars areas at restaurants may open at half capacity (no standing room only) and live music will be permitted.
  • All remaining bars, entertainment and cultural venues may open at half capacity, including museums, tours, attractions, and movie theaters.
    • Employees must be screened daily and required to wear face masks.
  • Gyms and fitness facilities may reopen.
    • Employees must be screened daily and required to wear a face mask, and equipment must be cleaned after each use. 
  • Personal care businesses will still be required to operate by appointment only, limit number of staff and customers to 10, screen employees, and wear masks.
  • Gatherings of 100 or fewer people will be permitted with strict physical distancing protocols implemented.
  • Non-residential K-12 schools may reopen.
  • Sports venues will remain closed.
  • Except when performing essential services, individuals over age 65 and those with high risk factors should remain at home
  • Work from home should continue whenever possible.
  • Cloth masks are encouraged to be worn in public.


If there is a significant increase in active cases during Phase Three, Nashville will be required to revert to Phase Two. If, after a minimum of 14 days in Phase Three, the trend of new cases continues to decline or remains flat, Nashville may proceed to Phase Four of reopening.


Phase Four

  • Commercial and retail businesses, including restaurants, will remain open at full capacity.
    • Employees wearing masks is optional, but recommended.
    • Employees should be screened for symptoms daily.
  • All bars and entertainment and cultural venues may open at full capacity, including museums, tours, attractions, bowling alleys, movie theaters, etc.
    • Employees wearing masks is optional, but recommended.
    • Employees should be screened for symptoms daily.
  • Gatherings of more than 100 people will be permitted with appropriate social distancing guidelines.
  • Personal care businesses will still be required to operate by appointment only, limit number of staff and customers to 10, screen employees, and wear masks. 
  • Sports and other large live performance venues may be reopened for greater than 100 people with appropriate social distancing guidelines.
  • Work from home is optional, and the use of cloth masks in public is optional, but recommended.
  • Except when performing essential services, individuals over age 65 and those with high risk factors should remain at home.


While Mayor Cooper acknowledged the city’s significant economic hardship, he urged the Nashville community to follow the reopening guidelines carefully in order to prevent regression to previous phases of social restriction. For more information on Nashville’s Roadmap for Reopening, please click here.


The Waller Government Relations team is tracking all state and local reopening guidelines closely and will provide updates accordingly.


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