Wisconsin to allow some nonessential businesses to restart no-contact service this week

Wisconsin to allow some nonessential businesses to restart no-contact service this week

Wisconsin will loosen restrictions on some nonessential businesses this week while still barring them from direct contact with customers, the governor announced Monday.

Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) new emergency order will permit nonessential businesses to conduct curbside drop-off of goods and animals starting Wednesday at 8 a.m. The governor said the move “turns the dial a notch” toward reopening the state economy, according to a press release

The order will allow businesses like dog groomers, small engine repair shops, upholstery businesses and others to operate with curbside service. Outdoor recreational rentals, like those for boats, golf carts, kayaks, ATVs and other vehicles, will be permitted to conduct business. Automatic or self-service car washes will also reopen.

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All of these businesses “must operate free of contact with customers” and allow consumers to pay by phone or online, according to the release. 

“This order means that every business across our state can do things like deliveries, mailings, curbside pick-up and drop-off, and it's an important step in making sure that while folks are staying safer at home, they can also continue to support small businesses across our state,” Evers said in the release. 

The Wisconsin governor made the announcement after extending the stay-at-home order earlier this month through May 26. The order’s extension is now being challenged in the state’s Supreme Court. 

Under the new order, state parks will not reopen yet, but Evers said the state government will consider it after more analysis, Madison.com reported

The announcement also comes as protests have erupted in the state and the business lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce released a plan to restart business on May 4, using an algorithm to permit employers to decide their risk levels and the needed precautions, the news website reported. 

Wisconsin has recorded 6,081 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, leading to at least 281 deaths, according to the state’s health department. The state also experienced its highest single-day increase in cases over the weekend with 331 new cases, officials announced on Saturday, The Associated Press reported.