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South Carolina attractions allowed to reopen this weekend, governor orders

Gov. McMaster has been doing a phased reopening of the states for the last month.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Wednesday that public attractions will be allowed to reopen throughout South Carolina beginning Friday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The “Response” component of AccelerateSC established safety guidelines for those businesses to reopen. 

Examples of attraction facilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Zoos
  • Museums
  • Aquariums
  • Planetariums
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Waterparks
  • Amusement park rides
  • Go-Kart tracks
  • Bingo facilities (specific guidelines can be found here)
  • Miniature golf facilities

This does not include bowling alleys, nightclubs, large spectator sports, and movie theaters. McMaster said he's still waiting for guidelines to be established for those businesses. 

It also does not include Carowinds, the large amusement park that straddles the South Carolina/North Carolina border. The park told WCNC they do not have a reopening date yet.

McMaster also announced that youth and adult sports leagues will be allowed to begin practicing on May 30th, with competitive play resuming on June 15th.

RELATED: South Carolina 'getting back on our feet carefully,' governor says

McMaster got more recommendations Tuesday from AccelerateSC, the group tasked with coming up with ideas on reopening the state. Among the ideas presented by Duane Parrish, Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, was allowing attractions to reopen this weekend.

Parrish said that would provide other outlets for people looking to have a good time this Memorial Day weekend. Last weekend, with limited options, people flocked to tourist destinations like Myrtle Beach, which saw huge crowds in entertainment districts and along the beach. 

McMaster called the idea a "good suggestion."

RELATED: Riverbanks Zoo ready to reopen, implementing new safety guidelines

RELATED: SC attractions should reopen this weekend, group says, governor agrees

McMaster has said he wants the state to reopen quickly but carefully, warning that the virus is still a very real threat. 

On Monday pools and close-contact businesses were allowed to open, adding to the list of other businesses and restaurants that have tried to get back to some sense of normalcy as McMaster implements a phased approach to reopening. 

That close contact business list included barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, gyms, and tattoo parlors. Those businesses have seen higher than usual traffic this week as people who'd been waiting for weeks for those service took advantage of them being back open.

RELATED: SC flexes its muscles as gyms reopen, much to owners, members delight

RELATED: Appointments in demand as salons begin to reopen

The businesses must adhere to safety guidelines, including sanitization and social distancing requirements.  

Full Video: Gov. McMaster talks about where we are with reopening

McMaster first started lifting restrictions last month in a phased approach that he says is based on data and science. On April 20, he reopened all retail stores, albeit with social distancing restrictions, and allowed beaches to reopen as well.  

On Monday, May 4, McMaster lifted the state's mandatory home or work order with had been in place for nearly a month, changing it to voluntary. He also allowed outdoor dining at restaurants to resume that same day.  A week later, indoor dining was permitted again, albeit with restrictions including a 50 percent limit on capacity.  

RELATED: South Carolina's mandatory home or work order no longer in effect

McMaster also announced that some state employees who'd been working from home will start coming back now, with all of them expected to be back by June 1.

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