OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee this week issued new guidance for allowing weddings, funerals and religious services to proceed under his four-phase coronavirus recovery plan.

The guidance lays out how activities can proceed under the first three phases of that plan. It comes as most of Washington’s 39 counties have advanced beyond the first, and most restrictive, phase.

The guidelines — first issued on Thursday and then clarified Friday — state that funeral directors or wedding planners who are able to meet coronavirus-safety requirements can resume activities.

Those planners must comply with the guidance issued for religious and faith-based groups in the first, second and third phases of the plan, according to the governor’s office.

Meanwhile, if food is being served at a reception for a service, the venue has to comply with guidance already issued for taverns and dine-in restaurants.

Such services must follow the guidance for the phase of the county where they are held.


For example, the third phase allows for indoor services at places of worship up to 400 people, or 50% regular capacity, whichever is less, provided there is 6 feet of distancing between households.

That same standard under the second phase limits indoor services to as many as 200 people or 25% of the standard building capacity.

Questions about how to properly comply with COVID-19 safety guidance issued by Inslee’s office can be submitted at: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/how-you-can-help/covid-19-business-and-worker-inquiries.

Also on Friday, the governor issued an emergency proclamation allowing recent pharmacy, dental and dental hygiene graduates to get a temporary license if they meet certain conditions. That order — which expires July 19 — is intended to help graduates who were unable to complete requirements due to the pandemic.

Another proclamation Inslee issued Friday temporarily waives the statute requiring employers to pay into the state’s SharedWork benefits program. That order, which expires July 19, allows federal coronavirus relief funding to cover the employers’ share.

Meanwhile, Inslee and the Legislature extended an order to July 1 waiving the requirement that those seeking driver’s instruction permits from the state Department of Licensing sign a form in the presence of a witness. The department can accept an online attestation instead.