skip to main content


These resources – like the public health crisis itself – are constantly evolving and are only current as to the date of publication. This page was last updated on June 1, 2020.

For more up-to-date information on the relief programs available in Arkansas, we recommend that you visit the state's COVID-19 Reponse website or the Arkansas Department of Health website

resource search icon

Description of Program and Relief

Guidance for Reopening Businesses

Governor Hutchinson has announced guidance for certain businesses to reopen in the state, if there are no countervailing city or county restrictions. Businesses in certain categories are slated to reopen on the following dates:

  • Beginning May 6, 2020, barber shops, cosmetology establishments, massage therapy clinics and spas and medical spas may resume operations under specific guidelines including pre-screening employees and clients, prohibiting walk-in appointments, using gloves and face masks, and social distancing.

  • Beginning May 11, 2020, restaurants and coffee shops may resume dine-in services, provided that they establish and implement certain safety protocols and best practices, including enacting physical distancing policies and limiting the number of diners.

  • Beginning May 18, 2020, venues like auditoriums, lecture halls, movie theaters, museums, arenas, sports venues, race tracks, stadiums, gymnasiums, auction houses, amusement centers, barns, exhibit halls, convention centers, funeral homes, bowling alleys and trampoline parks are allowed to reopen for audiences of fewer than 50, with strict social distance among individuals present. Other safety measures also apply.

  • Beginning May 18, 2020, casinos may reopen, provided that safety guidelines are followed. Casinos must reopen at no more than 33% capacity for their facility, track attendees for use in contact tracing, screen staff and customers for exposure to COVID-19, and maintain physical distance between people, among other precautions. Further detail on the safety measures may be found here.

  • Beginning May 21, 2020, summer overnight camps may begin to operate, provided that safety measures are taken, such as self-quarantine of campers and employees prior to entering the camp. Further detail on the safety measures may be found here.

  • Beginning May 22, 2020, recreational pools may reopen, provided that safety measures are taken, such as restrictions on capacity, physical distancing and screening of employees for any illness. Further detail on the safety measures may be found here.

  • Beginning May 25, 2020, elective medical procedures may be performed. Certain restrictions and safety measures apply, including the requirements that a negative COVID-19 test be collected within 72 hours of an elective procedure and that the hospital must have enough PPE to maintain a reserve in case of resurgence of the virus. Other guidelines may be found here.

  • Beginning May 26, 2020, service at bars or clubs may resume, with capacity limited to 33% of total seating capacity, including indoor and outdoor areas, in addition to other physical distancing requirements. Additional safety measures also apply.

  • Beginning June 1, 2020, limited contact community based and school-sponsored team sports may resume, provided that safety measures are taken. Limited contact sports include baseball, softball, golf, track and field, cross country, bowling, tennis, gymnastics, shooting sports, swimming and individual dance competitions. Close contact sports, such as wrestling, soccer and football, among others, may not resume team practice. The safety guidelines may be found here.

Businesses should check for any additional city or county restrictions before opening.

Government or Lead Agency

Governor’s Office / Arkansas Department of Health

Dates Available

Beginning on dates listed above.

Eligibility Requirements/Restrictions

Applies to establishments falling into categories listed above and meeting required safety guidelines. City or county restrictions may apply.

Application Deadlines (If Applicable)


Contact for More Information

(501) 682-2345 or complete the form here.

List of Additional Information

Additional information and press releases discussing the directives may be found here.

© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. This does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising. Past representations are no guarantee of future outcomes.

© 2024 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Privacy Policy