INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana is moving into the next phase of reopening earlier than planned. Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday most of the state will enter Stage 4 its Back on Track plan on Friday.
Indiana is just one stage away from fully reopening. So Stage 4 means some of the last places to open, like museums, are getting the green light this Friday.
Holcomb said good data is the reason behind moving to Stage 4 early. But the virus isn’t gone and this is not the end of the quarantine.
“And so as optimistic as we are about the next 24/48/72 hours,” Holcomb said. “I don’t want to predict 2 weeks from now.”
Now, most businesses are set to be reopened as of Friday. Although the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is waiting to open until July 7, they can’t wait to have people experience the exhibits in person again after doing a lot of virtual exhibits over the last few months.
“I think people have been kind of cooped up, wanting to get out,” IHS President and CEO Jody Blankenship said. “So I think they’re going to enjoy being a part of conversations online and they’re going to want to come into the museum to see the materials we’ve talked about.”
Something the museum didn’t expect was the number of digital visitors.
“We have Hoosiers from literally all over the country and, in some cases, joining us from other countries, are joining for these programs to get more of a Hoosier history,” Blankenship said. “So that’ll continue on some level, but we are looking forward to having everybody back and joining us and coming to the programs and seeing the exhibits.”
Stage four means there’s not much left to reopen. This stage opens bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, bowling alleys, water parks, and race tracks all at 50% capacity. Indoor dining will hit 75% capacity and retail can be at full capacity.
Some businesses say that shift means they’ll survive the virus. Gypsy Nest in Fishers is a hybrid hair salon and clothing boutique and the virus stopped nearly all their business.
“We were allowed to open the hair salon on May 11th,” Owner Becky Smith said. “But we could only have one client at a time in here. So everyone else had to sit in the car and wait till we called them to come in. So the boutique has virtually just been at a standstill. We just can’t have people come in here and so it’s definitely on hold until the governor can open up the state again.”
With retail being allowed to do full capacity, the shop will have more room and more of a chance at operating their boutique again.
“Well, hopefully it’ll take off again where it had picked up from,” Smith said. “Like I said, we were just starting up and starting to get busy before the coronavirus. So hopefully we can get back some of those customers and let them know that we’re open and we’re really excited to have them back.”
The next milestone to hit in Indiana is the final stage — Stage 5. That’s set for July 4 and when all of the restrictions will be gone.