Metrocreative

Inslee issues proclamations on travel restrictions and updates to existing religious guidance

  • Thu Dec 24th, 2020 1:30am
  • News

Submitted by Gov. Jay Inslee’s office.

Proclamation 20-83: COVID-19 prohibitions on travel from countries with 501Y.V variant circulation

Today Gov. Jay Inslee issued a 14-day quarantine requirement for anyone returning to Washington state after visiting the United Kingdom, South Africa and other countries where a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, 501Y.V, has been circulating.

Health experts believe this new variant may be more transmissible than other variants. The order applies to anyone who has been present in these countries within the prior 14 days. An individual is permitted to leave quarantine to perform certain essential activities (for example, seek medical treatment), provided that they avoid public transportation and ride-share services, wear a facial covering, separate themselves from other people to the greatest extent reasonably possible, and follow other appropriate social distancing measures. All individuals who are impacted by this order are strongly encouraged to be tested within seven days of returning to Washington.

The full proclamation is available at https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/proc_20-83.pdf.

Proclamation 20-25.10: Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

Gov. Inslee also updated Proclamation 20-25 and related guidance for houses of worship, weddings, and funerals. Currently, houses of worship are permitted to hold indoor services with up to 25% room capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.

The 200 person maximum attendance cap is being removed in response to the December 15, 2020 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak, which struck down Nevada’s 50-person attendance caps, interpreting the Supreme Court’s decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo to represent a ‘seismic shift in Free Exercise law.’

Because the Governor believes the attendance cap will help save lives, he is converting the required 200-person cap to a recommended cap. The Governor recognizes and respects that it is the role of the courts to say what the law is. The Governor does not intend to re-impose mandatory numerical caps specific to religious services unless the Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court clarifies the state of the law. Other minor modifications are made to align the guidance documents and the proclamation related to music and singing.

The full proclamation is available at https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/proc_20-25.10.pdf.

The religious and faith-based organization guidance is available https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19%20Phase%201%20to%203%20Religious%20and%20Faith%20Based%20Organization%20Guidance.pdf.

The wedding and funeral guidance is available at https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19%20Phase%202%20and%20Phase%203%20Wedding%20and%20Funeral%20Guidance.pdf.