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Washington state is in Phase 3 reopening: What that means for businesses and sporting events

Here's a breakdown of what changes for sporting events, restaurants, gyms and other businesses as Washington moves into Phase 3 of reopening.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington, including Spokane County, is moving into Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan on Monday, March 22, with significant changes for sporting events, restaurants and other businesses.

This comes after leaders throughout the state, including some in Eastern Washington, pushed Inslee to outline what the next phases of reopening might look like and what would be required to get there. The East region of Washington, including Spokane County, moved into Phase 2 of reopening on Valentine's Day. 

Inslee also announced that the state is transitioning to a county-by-county evaluation process for reopening. Counties will be evaluated every three weeks after moving to Phase 3. Those evaluations will occur on Mondays and take effect on Friday, with the first evaluation happening on April 12. If any county fails one or more of the health metrics outlined by the state, they will move back one phase. 

RELATED: All Washington counties moving to Phase 3 of reopening

Here's what you need to know about what's allowed when Washington state moves from Phase 2 into Phase 3 of reopening. 

50% capacity for indoor spaces

Phase 3 allows 400 people maximum for indoor and outdoor activities as long as physical distancing and masking are enforced. Additionally, it allows up to 50% occupancy or 400 people maximum, whichever is lower, for all indoor spaces. This applies to restaurants, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters and other businesses. 

Restaurants can also offer alcohol service until midnight, Inslee said.  

Sporting events

Inslee's office said the state can safely allow some outdoor spectators at sporting events in Phase 3. Outdoor events in facilities with permanent seating can have up to 25% capacity for spectators who are physically distanced and wearing masks. 

This means the Seattle Mariners will be able to welcome fans for the team's opening day on April 1. The change also allows the same capacity for high school sports, rodeos and similar outdoor spectator events.

The expanded capacity for high school and youth sports will begin on Thursday, March 18, Inslee's office said. 

RELATED: GSL football fans watch games from fence due to COVID restrictions

High contact sports

High contact sports such as basketball, wrestling and cheerleading can resume in Phase 3.