Metro Nashville retail, restaurants to operate at 75% capacity on May 25; gyms and salons allowed to reopen

Nashville businesses will be allowed to reopen at half capacity May 11. (Courtesy Jake Matthews/Visit Music City)
Nashville businesses will be allowed to reopen at half capacity May 11. (Courtesy Jake Matthews/Visit Music City)

Nashville businesses will be allowed to reopen at half capacity May 11. (Courtesy Jake Matthews/Visit Music City)

Two weeks after reopening to the public, restaurants and retail stores in Nashville will be allowed to operate at 75% capacity on May 25, Mayor John Cooper announced on May 21.

As part of the second reopening phase, hair and nail salons and gyms will be allowed to reopen at partial capacity. Small gatherings will be allowed for up to 25 people.

Cooper's announcement for the second reopening phase comes one month after he released the four-part reopening plan, which relies on the downward trend or flattening of new reported cases for 14 days before advancing to the next phase.

"All public health metrics tied to the roadmap indicate that Nashville is ready to carefully begin phase II," Cooper said.

Additionally, live music will be allowed in restaurants, however no more than two performers may be on stage at one time. Bars will remain closed until the third phase of the plan.


City officials are still urging residents to wear masks or face coverings in public, according to the reopening plan. The Metro Nashville Public Health Department issued an order May 1 that calls on businesses to require employees to wear face coverings and post signage at all public entrances encouraging customers to wear masks while inside. The order is set to expire at midnight on May 31 but may be extended, according to city officials.

As of May 21, Nashville's 14-day rolling average of new cases is flat and has a transmission rate of less than one, according to Dr. Alex Jahangir, Metro Coronavirus Task Force chairperson. He said the city's hospital capacity is considered satisfactory.

"We are confident that hospital capacity is sufficient should we experience a sudden spike in hospitalizations," Jahangir said. "We said we will look at data to make decisions, and the metrics all all in the satisfactory range."

Officials have previously said if there is a rise in cases during any of the phases, the city will revert to an earlier phase or establish stricter social distancing guidelines.

This story is developing, check back for updates.