Photo: Ed Gregory

The second step in Governor Michael Dunleavy's plan to reopen Alaska's economy will be taken Friday, May 8, as restrictions to businesses will be relaxed.

Retail, restaurants and other non-essential businesses will be allowed to open to 50% capacity, Dunleavy announced at a press conference Thursday night. Walk-in will be welcome. Personal care services will be allowed 50% capacity or up be 20 customers only be reservation.

Social and religious gatherings are now allowed for groups up to 50 persons, but indoor and outdoor - although social distancing is still recommended as is the wearing of cloth masks.

Fitness centers are allowed to open to 25% capacity, with a 50% capacity with-in swimming pools. Walk-ins are permitted.

Bars, libraries and museums are allowed 25% capacity under the new rules, with walk-ins permitted. Dunleavy said that summer camps and sports groups are being evaluated for opening soon.

The governor also called upon the Alaska Legislative Budget and Audit Committee to approve distribution of the CARES Act funds, a measure that would send $870 million to Alaska communities.

"We were hoping today we'd be able to report that LB&A met and approved approximately $568 million for municipal relief, $290 million for small business relief, $100 million for fisheries, relief, $10 million for homeless prevention, $49 million for FAA grants to rural airports, and $3 million for transportation operations," said Dunleavy. "Unfortunately, these funds are still awaiting approval by the legislature."