Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has retracted a controversial order he issued less than a week ago, which mandated that restaurants keep a daily log of customers as they reopen, Fox News reported on Sunday.
Inslee issued a statement over the weekend saying that the order was not a requirement but that "we are asking visitors [to restaurants] to voluntarily provide contact information in case of COVID-19 exposure. We only need information for one person per household. If we learn you may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your visit, the information will only be shared with public health officials."
He added, "This information will not be used for any other purpose, including sales or marketing. If this list is not used within 30 days, it will be destroyed."
The original order was harshly criticized, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington calling it a risk "to people's fundamental rights to privacy and association," according to The Seattle Times.
Some restaurant owners were also resentful of the order due to concerns that customers may refuse to provide information and become belligerent if information on them is taken down.
Washington's restaurants resumed service in a limited capacity last week as part of Phase 2 of the state's plan to gradually reopen. Restrictions include having no more than five guests per table, ensuring there is at least six feet between tables, and the permitted indoor occupancy of establishments must be cut in half.
Brian Freeman ✉
Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
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