Concerts could return to Missouri as early as Monday, it has been revealed.
Less than a week ago, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced the first phase of the "Show-Me Strong Recovery Plan" outlining how Missouri will gradually begin to reopen economic and social activity on May 4, 2020.
During Phase I of the plan, all businesses can be open provided that the social distancing guidelines set forth in the new health order are followed. Specifically, Missouri will allow residents to attend "events such as amusement parks and attractions, concerts, funerals, museums, school graduations and weddings" as long as seating is "spaced out according to social distancing requirements."
A representative from Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services told Billboard that event organizers are expected to keep concertgoers six feet or more apart to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Although retail businesses will be limited in public capacity during Phase I, those limitations will not apply to concerts, as long as concertgoers can maintain social distancing.
Parson, whose statewide stay-at-home order runs through May 3, said that Missouri is prepared to safely reopen on May 4.
"Our plan is deliberate and data-driven with two initial phases intended to protect those most at risk while returning Missouri to a new normal," he said. "While we must be prepared for a slow and steady road to recovery, I am confident we will come back stronger than ever before."
According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities.
The novel coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person to person — between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday showed that only 27% of those questioned would go to a concert, movie theater or live theater performance when venues reopen. Thirty-two percent said they would wait for a vaccine before going back to the movies, theater or concerts. In all, 55% of Americans said those events should not resume before a vaccine is available.