On May 11, 2020, Governor Tony Evers caused the Emergency Order #36 – Interim Order to Turn the Dial to be issued. While this Emergency Order does not end the Safer at Home restrictions, it does allow additional businesses to open while taking certain precautions. The Interim Order to Turn the Dial is effective immediately and it will remain in effect until the Safer at Home Order ends. The Safer at Home Order is currently scheduled to end on May 26, 2020.

The Safer at Home Order, as amended, requires everyone in Wisconsin to stay at their home or place of residence. There are exceptions to this requirement for employees and patrons of (1) Essential Businesses and Operations and (2) Minimum Basic Operations. The Interim Order to Turn the Dial does not change this. Rather, it expands the definition of “Minimum Basic Operations” to include in-person retail stores and drive-in movie theaters.

In-Person Retail Stores

Standalone or strip mall-based retail stores are now allowed to offer in-person shopping within the store itself under the following conditions:

  • No more than five patrons are to be allowed in the store at one time;
  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged for all staff and customers;
  • Lines outside the store must be established to regulate entry with markings indicating where customers should stand to remain six feet apart from one another while waiting to enter; and
  • As an alternative to lines, stores may allow customers to wait in their cars for a text message or phone call and scheduling pickups or entries to the store.

The Interim Order to Turn the Dial does not allow stores who exclusively rely on an entrance within a mall or through an interconnected passage to offer in-person shopping.

Drive-In Movie Theaters

The Interim Order to Turn the Dial also allows drive-in movie theaters to open with the following restrictions:

  • Drive-in theaters may not offer outdoor seating;
  • Patrons may only leave their vehicles to purchase or pick up food or drink from the theater or to use the restroom;
  • Patrons must remain in their vehicles at all other times;
  • Patrons must remain in their vehicles at all other times;
  • Any food or drink sales must comply with the restrictions on restaurants and bars found in sections 13.d. and 13.e. of the Safer at Home Order;
  • Drive in movie theaters may deliver food to patrons waiting in their vehicles; and
  • To the extent possible, reservations and payments should be made in advance online or over the phone.

For a list of drive-in movie theaters in Wisconsin, please visit the Travel Wisconsin website.

If you have any questions, Gerbers Law, S.C. is ready to assist businesses in assessing the risks and strategies associated with the Interim Order to Turn the Dial, as well as other issues related to COVID-19. Contact our office today by calling 920-499-5700 to speak with our business and employment attorneys.

Please note that the general information provided on the Gerbers Law, S.C. blog is merely informative and should not be taken as legal advice. The content of Gerbers Law, S.C. blog is based on the state of the law at the time of its original publication. Legal developments can change quickly. As a result, the content of Gerbers Law, S.C. blog may not remain accurate as laws change over time. Your use of this site, as well as commenting, sending an inquiry, or contact email does not create an attorney- client relationship in any way. We highly recommend that you consult with a licensed attorney before you rely or act on this information.