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Directive Regarding Large Indoor Venues

The Secretary of Health, in consultation with the Governor, has sole authority over all instances of quarantine, isolation, and restrictions on commerce and travel throughout Arkansas, as necessary and appropriate to control disease in the state of Arkansas as authorized by Ark. Code Ann. §20-7-109--110. Based on available scientific evidence, it is necessary and appropriate to take further action to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled and that residents and visitors in Arkansas remain safe.
This directive covers indoor venues for commercial, community, or civic events and activities where an audience, spectators, or a gathering of people are present, such as at concerts, weddings, plays, movies, lectures, presentations, conferences, conventions, sporting events, races, fundraisers, trade shows, and festivals. This revision for phase 2 increases the capacity allowed in the venue, as long as physical distancing of 6 feet can be achieved. Examples of such venues include auditoriums, lecture halls, movie theaters, other theaters, museums, arenas, sports venues, race tracks, stadiums, gymnasiums, auction houses, amusement centers, barns, exhibit halls, convention centers, and funeral homes. Examples also include recreational facilities, such as bowling alleys and trampoline parks. Gatherings subject to this directive also include, without limitation, community, civic, public, leisure, commercial, or sporting events. This directive is not intended to address the following, which are addressed under separate directives or guidance: 

  • Places of worship 

  • Community or School Sponsored Team Sports 

  • Casinos 

The following requirements must be observed: 

  • A venue may increase the number of attendees at an event to up to 66 percent capacity for the facility with a plan approved by the Secretary of Health. Plans should be submitted to 

  • One hundred (100) people or fewer in attendance are allowed without a requirement to submit a plan. 

  • The performers/players/contestants must be separated from the audience by at least 12 feet and must be limited in number to fifty (50) or fewer. 

  • Lines or cues for entrance, exit, purchases, or other reasons must be marked or monitored for maintaining a distance of 6 feet between people. 

  • Seating must be arranged to maintain a 6-foot distance between members of the audience. 

  • Family groups may sit together, but 6 feet should be maintained between groups. 

  • Every other row of seating should be unoccupied to provide for 6 feet of physical distancing. 

  • Face coverings are required for all persons present, except for children under 10 years of age, who are exempt. Performers/players/contestants may be without a face covering if they are 12 feet from other persons. 

  • Signs must be posted at all entrances advising the public not to enter if: 
        They have fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell.
        They have had known exposure to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. 

  • Signs must be posted at all entrances advising the public that they may wish to refrain from entering if:
        They are 65 years of age or older.
        They have underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, severe obesity, asthma, or weakened immunity. 

  • Hand sanitizer stations must be available at all entrances and exits. 

  • Refreshments may be served. However, self-service operations, including, but not limited to, salad bars, buffets, and condiment bars shall not be allowed. 

  • Catered events are allowed with caterer-served buffets or plated meals. 

  • Seating must be arranged so that occupied seats are at least six (6) feet from seats at adjacent tables. 

  • The facility, including seating, shall be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use. Frequently touched surfaces shall be cleaned periodically during the course of the event. Products with an EPA-approved emerging viral pathogen claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for these products. For a list of EPA-approved emerging pathogen sanitizers:

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