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SC governor allows bowling alleys to reopen, lifts retail capacity restraints

The changes go into effect immediately.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is allowing bowling alleys to reopen immediately and lifting the capacity requirements for retail stores.

McMaster issued an executive order Friday morning approving the changes. He also extended the state of emergency for another 15 days.

“South Carolinians know what they can do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, and it’s incumbent upon each and every one of us to follow the advice and recommendations of the public health experts,” said Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement. “We also must continue our methodical approach towards getting South Carolinians back to work and businesses contributing to the state’s economy. Businesses simply can’t be closed indefinitely, but they can operate in a safe way with our collective knowledge of the virus.”

The latest move Friday comes as South Carolina has seen a spike in coronavirus cases in the last three weeks, with Thursday being the highest single-day case total since the pandemic began.

RELATED: SC sets new daily record of 687 coronavirus cases

All retail stores in the state had been allowed to reopen in late April, but had been operating on a 50 percent capacity restriction. Those restrictions are now lifted. 

Here are the rules for bowling alleys: 

These guidelines include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Bowlers should be spread out on the lanes to ensure that they are 6 feet or more apart. This can be accomplished by either limiting the number of people on one lane at a time and/or having an empty lane in between each active one.
  • Request that customers bring their own bowling balls and shoes, if they have them.
  • Clean and disinfect bowling balls and shoes between users.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (bathroom doors, sink handles, chairs, etc.) routinely throughout the day.
  • Provide hand sanitizer at each lane. Make disinfectant available to customers who want to disinfect their ball and lane.
  • Disable video games, juke boxes, etc. OR clean and disinfect them between each user.

McMaster has been reopening the state in stages since April in what's his described as a deliberate and slow restarting of the economy. 

Again, retail stores were allowed to reopen in late April, and he lifted restrictions on beaches next. Restaurants were allowed to reopen for outdoor dining in early May, but a little over a week later, they were allowed to have inside dining as long as they limited themselves to 50 percent capacity in stores. Shortly afterward, he allowed close contact businesses, such as hair salons and barbershops, to allow customers again if they followed safety procedures. 

RELATED: Businesses see spike in customers ahead of Memorial Day weekend

RELATED: South Carolina hair salons, barbershops, gyms to reopen May 18

On May 22, McMaster allowed public attractions to reopen, and some did immediately, including the Riverbanks Zoo.

RELATED: Riverbanks Zoo opens to the public with some changes