These Will Be the Last Places to Reopen After the Coronavirus

It's going to be quite some time before you get to enjoy these former parts of everyday life again.

Many states in the U.S. are slowly starting to reopen. And while public beaches, restaurants, salons, and some retail stores have been opening their doors once again, there are many other former staples of daily life that we won't be seeing again anytime soon, from entertainment venues to certain restaurants.

The White House's guidelines for "opening up America again" are broken up into three reopening phases. And based on the requirements, it'll be a long time before some of your favorite places can welcome patrons. For example, the plan's initial phase alone requires two weeks of decreased flu-like illnesses, two weeks of decreased COVID-like illnesses, two weeks of decreased documented coronavirus cases, ample testing protocols in place, adequate contact tracing, and sufficient health care system capacity—including enough personal protective equipment—for employees.

With that in mind, these will be the last places to reopen once COVID-19 cases have started to subside. And if you want to protect yourself when businesses open their doors, check out these 9 Mistakes You Shouldn't Make During Reopening.

Sports arenas

fans cheering ice hockey game at sports venue

Athletes around the world have either been sitting at home for months or been playing their sports with no audiences to cheer them on—and that's going to be the case for some time. In phase three of the White House's guidelines—for reference, most states are currently in phase one or phase two—sports arenas can finally open with limited physical distancing protocols in place.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll be seeing your favorite athletes play live again this year. Anthony Fauci, MD, who has been leading the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, told The New York Times on Apr. 28, "If you can't guarantee safety, then unfortunately you're going to have to bite the bullet and say, 'We may have to go without this sport for this season.'" And if you're wondering how you can get your money back for your season tickets, check out Here's What to Do About Refunds for All Your Canceled Event Tickets.

Concert venues

group of people clapping in the dark at what appears to be a concert

It will be a while before you're standing elbow-to-elbow with a bunch of strangers at a crowded concert again. In an interview with USA Today, Travis Rieder, assistant director of education initiatives and research scholar at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, said that he couldn't foresee concert venues reopening safely until a coronavirus vaccine is available—something most experts agree won't happen before fall, at the earliest. And if you want to separate the fact from the fiction regarding a vaccine, make sure to read these 7 Questions About the Coronavirus Vaccine, Answered by Doctors.


Casino game

With limited physical distancing possibilities, tons of high-touch surfaces, and buffets as the standard option for food service, it's no wonder casinos will be one of the last venues to reopen. The Points Guy notes that some tribal casinos have reopened—casinos in Deadwood, South Dakota, opened their doors on May 7; some casinos in Arizona reopened upon the expiration of the state's stay-at-home orders on May 15; and casinos in New Orleans reopened at 25 percent capacity as of May 15. However, larger gambling centers, like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, aren't expected to welcome guests until June—and that's only once strict safety plans are in place, including distancing measures and face masks requirements in certain casinos. And for more guidelines about face masks, check out 7 States Where You're Breaking the Law if You Don't Wear a Face Mask.

Sit-down restaurants

women eating in crowded reataurant
Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

Though many restaurants have stayed open for take-out and delivery during the pandemic, and many others have reopened with physical distancing protocols in place, they won't be able to dial back those physical distancing measures until phase three. However, in many cases, your favorite eatery may shutter for good—according to a May 2020 survey from restaurant reservation platform OpenTable, up to 25 percent of all restaurants won't reopen post-pandemic.

Public pools

kids swimming in public pool

While the White House guidelines recommend "[maximizing] physical distance from others" in outdoor recreation areas during phase two, specific guidance regarding swimming pools reopening has been scarce. However, many cities—including New York; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Overland Park, Kansas; and Plano, Texas—already announcing that public pools will remain closed for the summer. And the University of Chicago's chief epidemiologist Emily Landon, MD, told The Chicago Tribune, "I suspect that pools are going to be one of the last places that are going to be allowed to be open." However, if you are eager to take a dip this summer, head to the ocean instead—just make sure you know these 5 Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make at the Beach.

Movie theaters

movie theater customers
Shutterstock/Jacob Lund

Many states have seen their movie theaters shuttered for months. According to The New York Times' interactive reopening map, in Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming, movie theaters have reopened, but in most other states, they'll be one of the last businesses to welcome guests again. However, once states have entered phase three, movie theaters can reopen with limited social distancing, meaning you can finally catch a new movie without being the only guest in attendance. And if you want to have a movie night with something fresh at home, check out some 2020 Movies Streaming Right Now and Where to Find Them


young students writing at desks in school

Many parents are eager to have their kids resume their education somewhere other than their kitchen table. Unfortunately, few moms and dads will be sending their kids back to school this year—and many are left in limbo regarding whether schools will open in September, too. While schools are allowed to open in phase two, according to the White House guidelines, Montana is currently the only state that's welcomed back students for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Throughout the rest of the country, schools are closed for the rest of the school year, and many states have not yet announced plans to reopen schools come fall. And for the changes your kids can expect to see when in-person classes do resume, check out 7 Things You'll Never See in Schools Again After Coronavirus.

Senior care facilities

doctor or nurse and patient in nursing home
Shutterstock/Jacob Lund

Of course you're eager to visit grandma again, but you might have to wait a while. Though senior care facilities haven't closed completely—residents live there and the doctors, nurses, and other professionals staffing the facilities are considered essential workers, after all—they will be one of the last places to reopen to visitors. In fact, due to the vulnerable populations who live in them, senior care facilities won't be open to visitors until states reach phase three of the White House's plan.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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