Gov. Doug Ducey got on the phone April 30 with business leaders in Chandler and across Arizona and fielded questions on reopening business in the state for about an hour and half.

The governor, who announced an extension of Arizona's April 29 stay-at-home order through May 15, said when he gets a green light from health officials to open up businesses, "we are going to go."

"The pandemic has dimmed our economy and I realize that," Ducey said during the call. "My interest now, while protecting public health, is to gradually turn it back up."

The extended stay-at-home order came with modifications allowing retail to begin to open voluntarily May 4 in a limited capacity for curbside and delivery and retail businesses could open a little further around May 8 with physical distancing requirements.

Guidance on restaurants, gyms, barbershops, salons to come


In answering several questions from business owners and industry leaders across the state, Ducey said that the earliest restaurants could open in Arizona is May 12. The governor said that date was given to him by restaurant industry leaders and the Arizona Restaurant Association and said that the date is not a set in stone.

Ducey said the governor's office and the Arizona Restaurant Association would provide guidance to restaurants when they do open dining rooms.

"What we want is physical distancing inside establishments," Ducey said in the call. "We are going to put out guideline. We are not looking to put out information beyond that. We want to let the energy of the free enterprise system work."

He said the next "significant thing" to open across the state will "likely be dine-in restaurants."


As for guidance or an opening date for salons, spas, barbershops and gyms, Ducey asked for time.

"Once we get [closer to] the 15th, we will have a better answer," Ducey said. "Give me just a little time on that."

Telemedicine to stay post-coronavirus

Ducey said during the call that he wants all his executive orders enacted because of the coronavirus to "evaporate," but he also said he wants the things that have made it easier for customers to get service, like telemedicine, to continue.


"As brutal as it's been, we’ve also been challenged to be innovative and to have new ideas," Ducey said. "I don't know why it took us until the pandemic to do this, but as for telemedicine, that is going to stay."

In late March, the governor signed an executive order requiring health insurance companies to expand telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered for an in-person visit.

The governor also said he hopes to see businesses continue teleworking opportunities for employees, as parents will have children continuing their education at home via remote learning for the remainder of the academic year.