Music fans in Missouri will be able to start going to concerts again as early as Monday, thanks to their governor’s new recovery plan.
State Gov. Mike Parson unveiled the “Show Me Strong” recovery plan on April 27, which outlines how businesses will be able to resume operations after the state stay-at-home order expires May 3.
The plan allows for retail stores to re-open at limited capacities and for restaurants to re-establish dine-in service with safe protocol in place. It also allows residents to attend large events, including concerts.
Additionally, it revokes the ban on large events and gatherings, such as theater events, movies and concerts. However, the state requires those attending such events to sit in spaced seating according to social distancing requirements.
A representative from Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed with Billboard that concertgoers must maintain a six-foot distance. “There are currently no limitations on social gatherings as long as necessary precautions are taken and six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and/or families,” the Show Me Strong recovery plan reads.
Also, unlike retail stores, such gatherings will not have occupancy limits.
The first phase of the governor’s plan begins on May 4 and is expected to end May 31. State and health officials will re-evaluate the data at the end of the month to best determine the next phase.
The decision to reopen is based on four pillars that the governor considers the state to have reached. Those are expanded state-wide testing capacity, expanded personal protective equipment, continued monitorization of the health care capacity and the improved ability to predict “hotspots” of the virus in the state.
As of May 2, Missouri reported 8,154 cases in the state and 351 deaths, according to the state health department website. Those numbers are based on more than 82,000 tests.
Allowing concerts as of Monday is much sooner than a prediction made a few weeks ago, experts said it was unlikely for large events to return until 2021.
In a new poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos, it’s clear that even when shows and other large gatherings are going to be allowed Americans are going to be hesitant about going out again.
According to the poll, less than half of Americans are planning to go to concerts sporting events, movie theaters and more until an effective vaccine is available for everyone.
The poll shows only four in ten Americans who are saying they’re regularly attending events like these are going again without a widely-available vaccine.
Separately, four in ten also say they’re willing to wait for a vaccine even if it takes over a year to be made available. The remaining people say they are unsure about what to do or may never attend events requiring large gatherings ever again.
Further, only 27 percent say they will go to a movie theater or concert when venues are reopening. This lines up with theater chain Cinemark‘s recent comments about reopening their theaters early. The company is claiming they can stay profitable even with “20 to 30 percent of capacity” while audiences will understandably be cautious in early days. The company is projecting a July reopening with limited capacity.
32 percent say they’re waiting until a vaccine is ready to go back to these places.
In total, 55 percent say shows should not even be happening without a vaccine.