State Loosens Restrictions, Phase 2-3 DHM Rules To Begin June 22

LINCOLN – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a press briefing last week previewing the next step of restrictions being loosened across the state as 89 of 93 counties begin phase three of the Directed Health Measures (DHMs).

From the Governor’s Hearing Room, Ricketts provided updates on the work the State of Nebraska is doing to get Nebraska growing as the fight against the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Governor Ricketts quickly got into the news that most of the state will move into phase three of the DHMs while the Central District (Hall, Merrick and Hamilton) along with Dakota County Health Departments will go into phase two beginning Monday, June 22.

The initial restrictions were put in place back in March and the state has been taking a step-by-step approach to loosen the restrictions to allow Nebraskans to go back to a more normal life while still taking steps to slow the virus.

A state-wide change for sporting events will pertain to fan attendance, according to governor Ricketts.

“Fan attendance for youth and school games changes to the same limit as gatherings on June 22,” said Ricketts. “So, we have a category for gatherings. Those sports gatherings will be included in that and no longer for example be limited to just household members.”

Indoor gatherings will go up to 50% of rated occupancy (from 25%), not to exceed 10,000 people (from 3,00) while outdoor gatherings will be limited to 75% of occupancy (was 50%) and not to exceed 10,000.

Groups can’t be larger than eight and they’ll need to maintain six-feet separation from other groups or families.

Phase 4 was also previewed last week with a date to be selected sometime in July. Indoor gatherings will then be 75% and outdoor will move up to 100% in phase four.

Commissioner Matt Blomstedt also spoke during the briefing last week and stated there’s expectation of having in-person learning this fall.

“I think that’s a great thing,” Blomstedt added. “We want schools to be able to spend this time between now and the beginning of school really planning to figure out what are all the safe protocols that ought to be in place. The Department of Education will continue to provide guidance for schools.”

Nothing will be placed about schools inside the next round of DHMs.





Fan attendance for youth and school games changes to same limit as Gatherings on June 22nd.

No longer limited to household members only. Contact team sports may begin practices and games on July1st.

Elective Surgeries

All restrictions on elective surgeries are removed from DHM starting June 22nd.


Bars & Restaurants

  • Restaurants, Bars, Bottle Clubs, and Gentlemen’s Clubs remain open for dine-in.
  • Patrons will be required to be seated while on premise unless they are placing an order, using the restroom, or playing games.
  • 100% of rated occupancy.
  • Maximum of 8 individuals in a party (groups larger than 8 will need to split into multiple tables).
  • Food MAY BE consumed at bar seating.
  • Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited.
  • Venue staff must serve food directly to all individuals.
  • Games such as pool, darts, arcade games, etc. ARE allowed.

Childcare Facilities

  • Capacity will be limited to the following numbers:
  • Infants to 3 year old –15 children per room/space
  • 3 year olds –20 children per room/space
  • 4-5 year olds –24 children per room/space
  • School-age children (K-12) –30 children per room/space
  • All other state provisions, statutes, and regulations, including child to staff ratios, still apply.


INDOOR Gatherings will be limited to 50% of rated occupancy (not to exceed 10,000).

OUTDOOR Gatherings will be limited to 75% of rated occupancy (not to exceed 10,000).

Gatherings include but are not limited to Indoor or Outdoor Arenas, Indoor or Outdoor Auctions, Stadiums, Tracks, Fairgrounds, Festivals, Zoos, Auditoriums, Large Event Conference Rooms,

Meeting Halls, Indoor Theaters, Libraries, Swimming Pools,or any other confined indoor or outdoor space.

Groups shall be no larger than 8 individuals.

Six (6) feet separation between groups moves to guidance.

Parades, carnivals, midways, dances and street dances, and beer gardens remain prohibited through Phase III.

Parades where patrons remain in their vehicles and the public does not line the streets are permitted.

Dancing at events is permissible if individuals remain at their tables/seats and keep social distancing between groups.

Dance recitals are permitted but must follow the Gathering requirements.

Plans for reopening or expanding to new capacity limits must be submitted to the local health departments and approved for all indoor and outdoor locations/venues that hold 500 or more individuals (1,000 or more in counties over 500,000 population) before reopening is permitted. The reopening plan must contain planned number of guests, how the location will meet social distancing guidelines, and sanitation guidelines.

Gyms, Fitness Centers/Clubs, Health Clubs, & Health SpasoWillbe limited to 75% of rated occupancy.

Salons, Barber Shops, Massage Therapy Services, & Tattoo Parlors/Body Art Facilities

Will be limited to75% of rated occupancy.

Both workers and patrons are still required in the DHM to wear masks at all times.

An exception will be made for all services performed on faces. Patrons will be permitted to remove their mask while receiving services directly. The mask must be worn by the patron at all other times while on the premise.

Wedding & Funeral Reception Venues

Maximum of 8 individuals in a party (groups larger than 8 will need to split into multiple tables).

Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited. Venue staff must serve food directly to all individuals.

Limited dances or other social events requiring guests to gather outside of their respective tables in guidance.

Starting June 22nd, all counties located in Central District Health Dept. (Hall, Hamilton, Merrick) and Dakota County Health Dept. (Dakota) will be reissued DHMs with Phase II Requirements