A worker wipes down one of the slot machines before the ribbon cutting at the Island View Casino Resort’s new nonsmoking casino in Gulfport on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

Gov. Tate Reeves continued to reopen Mississippi businesses on Friday by announcing that tattoo parlors and casinos can resume operations.

The state is still under the governor’s “Safer-at-Home” order until May 25, which limits in-person gatherings and retail business and restaurants’ operating capacity, but Reeves amended it to allow for additional businesses to open.

A week ago Reeves allowed restaurants to reopen at limited capacity, as well as gyms, salons and barbershops. Similar to salons, tattoo parlors can reopen immediately but are subject to strict guidelines including a requirement that customers wear a mask at all times, and facilities must be deep cleaned and sanitized prior to reopening. Businesses must limit traffic inside the building to one customer per employee, and screen employees for symptoms daily. Tattoos and piercings around the mouth are not permitted.

“Dance studies” are also permitted to open now under the same limitations placed on gyms, according to the order.

Reeves said he worked with the Mississippi Gaming Commission and Mississippi Department of Health to set a date for casinos to reopen, May 21.

“It will not be at full capacity and there will be social distancing rules in place, but it is progress,” he said.

Additionally, under this latest executive order restaurants that do not serve alcohol can now operate 24 hours a day. Restaurants that do serve alcohol must close by 10 p.m.

Reeves apologized for identifying businesses as essential or nonessential at all, telling reporters during his daily press conference that it was a mistake to do so.

The latest executive order “… is an effort to affirm that there is no such thing as a nonessential business to those workers who rely on its paycheck for food and shelter,” Reeves said.

The Safer-At-Home order is set to expire at 8 a.m. on May 25.


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Kayleigh Skinner joined the Mississippi Today team in January 2017 as an education and legislative reporter and advanced to a senior staff member in her four years with the company. Before joining Mississippi Today, Kayleigh worked at The Hechinger Report, Chalkbeat Tennessee, and The Commercial Appeal. She has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC Newsday Radio to discuss her reporting.