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Iowa governor eases virus rules on bars, restaurants

June 10, 2020 GMT
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during her daily coronavirus press briefing at the State Capitol, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in Des Moines. (Brian Powers/The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool)
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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during her daily coronavirus press briefing at the State Capitol, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in Des Moines. (Brian Powers/The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool)
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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during her daily coronavirus press briefing at the State Capitol, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in Des Moines. (Brian Powers/The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa bars, restaurants, theaters and other businesses will be able to pack in more customers beginning Friday under a proclamation Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that she said reflects a decline in the coronavirus pandemic.

Three weeks after Reynolds allowed such businesses to open with a 50% capacity limit, she ended the restrictions as long as establishments practice social distancing and ensure additional hygiene practices. Swimming pools, senior centers and adult day care centers also may open if they follow public health guidance, Reynolds said.

“Results such as the consistent downward trends in positive cases and hospitalizations that were experienced for the last month allow us to confidently take additional steps forward further relaxing restrictions and reopening business in a measured and reasonable approach that’s driven by data,” she said.

The governor eased restrictions as state health data showed an increase of seven deaths and about 340 cases since Tuesday.

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Reynolds said eliminating the 50% capacity restrictions will allow businesses the flexibility to adjust specific operations to best meet the needs of their customers and employees.