Governor Pete Ricketts has announced that a new Directed Health Measure (DHMs) for Douglas County and Sarpy County will be issued that will relax restrictions on the opening of certain businesses.

In a press conference held April 24, 2020, the Governor announced the following, to be effective May 4:

  • Limited Restaurant Re-Opening. Restaurants can open to serve dine-in customers with restrictions and safety requirement, including the following:
    • Seating must be limited to 50% of the rated occupancy maximum at all times.
    • Tables must be at least six feet apart.
    • All dining parties are restricted to no more than six persons (groups larger than six will need to sit at separate tables).
    • Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited.
    • Restaurant staff must serve food directly to customer; no customer self-service will be allowed.
    • Bar seating is not permitted. Customers may only consume alcohol on the premises if also consuming a meal.
    • Employees will be required to wear masks
    • Bars that do not serve food will remain limited to carry-out sales and delivery only.
    • Restaurants are also asked to adhere to certain guidelines developed by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Nebraska Restaurant Association, available here.
  • Beauty Salons, Etc. Beauty and nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy services, and tattoo parlors/studios will be permitted to open, while maintaining the 10-person rule. Employees and customers must wear masks.
  • Childcare Facilities. Childcare facilities will be permitted to have up to 15 children per room/space, an increase of five over the current requirements. All other state provisions, statutes, and regulations (including child-to-staff ratios) still apply.
  • Places of Worship. Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other places of worship can resume services, weddings and funerals beginning May 4. Each household must sit six feet apart.
  • Elective Surgeries and Other Health Professionals. As previously announced, hospitals can resume elective surgeries on May 4 if hospitals meet certain capacity requirements. Dental offices, eye care clinics and veterinary clinics can also reopen.
  • Extension of DHM to May 31. All other businesses currently ordered to close must remain closed until May 31st, or until the orders are amended, including bars, gentlemen’s clubs, bottle clubs, indoor movie theaters, indoor theaters and playhouses.

The text of the DHM has not been released as of the time of this Client Update. The foregoing relaxation of DHMs will apply to a number of counties in the Southeast, Southwest, Northwest and North Central regions of the State. The foregoing will also apply to certain counties including Lancaster County beginning May 11.

A printable version of this information can be found by clicking HERE.


Authors: Mark Brasee & Neil Hassler

Mark L. Brasee

Mark L. Brasee


(402) 978-5306

Neil P. Hassler

Neil P. Hassler


(402) 978-5374

This article has been prepared for general information purposes and (1) does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. Always seek professional counsel prior to taking action.