Reopening Status and Visit Seattle Messaging


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Current Reopening Status

On May 13, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee announced that Washington is moving toward a statewide June 30 reopening date and that all counties in Washington will move to Phase 3 of the Healthy WA: Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan effective May 18 until June 30. King County had already been in Phase 3, which currently means:

  • Indoor capacity at most venues, including restaurants/bars, museums and attractions, retail stores, and indoor gyms is 50%.
  • In-person business meetings, professional training, and testing are allowed. Occupancy in each room/area is limited to 50% capacity or 400 people, whichever is fewer (excludes staff). For venues over 100,000 square feet in size, the capacity is capped at 600 people (this includes exhibitors and excludes staff). It is expected that capacity will be raised to 1,000 people (with social distancing) in the coming days.
  • Incentive for vaccination: spectator events, such as indoor and outdoor sports, will no longer have limits on the number of vaccinated attendees. This guidance also applies to business meetings/conferences, live performances, weddings, and funeral receptions.
  • More details on what is permitted in Phase 3 is available via the governor’s website.

The statewide reopening could happen earlier than June 30 if 70% or more of Washingtonians over the age of 16 initiate vaccination. As of May 13, Washington has administered over six million doses of vaccine and 56% of Washingtonians have initiated vaccination.

Gov. Inslee also announced that Washington will fully adopt the masking guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on May 13. This guidance is for fully vaccinated people—meaning people who are two weeks removed from their second shot of Pfizer or Moderna or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Inbound Travel Guidance
Gov. Inslee recommends that all travelers follow the CDC’s COVID-19 travel guidance. Guidelines are outlined for domestic and international travelers (including testing requirements for anyone arriving in the United States from an international point of origin) on the CDC website. Most notably, the CDC currently suggests anyone who is fully vaccinated can travel safely within the United States.

Is Visit Seattle Actively Welcoming Visitors?
Visit Seattle is welcoming travelers to our destination and, with a definitive statewide reopening date, Visit Seattle will begin to more aggressively and broadly invite consumers to our region through advertising and marketing programs. In the meantime, we continue to encourage visitation through a variety of ways:

  • Meetings/convention sales and marketing for future years, attracting group business to the Washington State Convention Center (Summit and Arch), as well as in-house meetings across the region.
  • Development of consumer-oriented advertising programs to drive visitation to Seattle.
  • Downtown Seattle revitalization efforts, in conjunction with the City of Seattle and Downtown Seattle Association (DSA).
  • Public relations efforts, including proactive pitching and hosting of media and destination brand repair.
  • Travel trade development and support of our airline, cruise line, and global travel agency partners.
  • Advocacy efforts in support of our local tourism and hospitality industry.