SafetyCulture Summit 2020

Montana Reopening Checklists

Free digital checklists to help business owners in Montana reopen safely during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Published August 4th, 2020

Montana Reopening: A Gradual Approach

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Montana initiated their stay-at-home directive on March 28. This government mandate extended up to April 24 when Phase 1 commenced to allow the gradual reopening of businesses to restart the economy.

Some notable changes under Phase 1 include the following:

  • Starting April 26, individuals were allowed to leave their homes. The wearing of face masks and practicing of social distancing are still encouraged.
  • Starting April 27, businesses were allowed to reopen under government-mandated requirements to limit occupancy and implement social distancing protocols. Businesses are still encouraged to utilize telework arrangements if possible.
  • Beginning May 4, restaurants and bars are allowed to accommodate on-site customers so long as they limit occupancy and implement social distancing and sanitary protocols.
  • Beginning May 7, schools have the option of resuming on-site classes under the discretion of the school board. Otherwise, they can continue with remote learning arrangements.

Montana’s Highlights Against COVID-19

As of June 18, 2020, Montana is recorded to have the lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases out of all 50 states, having only 655 confirmed cases. In spite of the distinction, the state vows to increase their testing capacity to eventually be capable of conducting 60,000 tests per month.

The gradual reopening of businesses as well as mass testing initiatives do not cover the entirety of the state’s COVID-19 recovery program. Aside from implementing strict and informed safety guidelines against the transmission of the coronavirus, Montana Housing initiated the Emergency Housing Assistance Program. The program extends financial help to Montanans who have either lost their jobs, or experienced significant financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Montanans can check their eligibility and read up on the program’s FAQs by visiting the official state website.

Montana Reopening: Phase 2 Onwards

Montana launched into Phase 2 of their gradual reopening on June 1st. The 2nd phase modifies restrictions to allow for more economic mobility across several industries. Below are some important updates from the introduction of Phase 2:

  • Public gathering limit is updated
    Public gatherings now have a 50-person limit but are still subject to physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • Traveler quarantine period is abolished
    Where previously required, out-of-state travelers returning to Montana no longer have to go through 14 days of self-quarantine.
  • All businesses can now reopen
    Businesses can now operate regardless of their “essential” or “non-essential” status so long as they limit occupancy, and implement strict social distancing and sanitation guidelines. Restaurants, bars, and casinos can operate to up to 75% of their maximum capacity as well as gyms, pools, and indoor fitness facilities.

Montana Reopening Guidance

Montana: Reopening the Big Sky is the official phased reopening plan of Montana spearheaded by Gov. Steve Bullock. It provides guidelines that are relevant for individuals and employers regardless of reopening phase, as well as phase-specific guidelines covering Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three.

The official government website also released a PDF file providing general business reopening guidelines, including guidelines for reopening schools, bars, breweries, distilleries, casinos, personal care services, and outdoor recreation.

Reopening Montana with the Help of a Mobile App

iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a versatile mobile app that can help Montanan business owners achieve and maintain compliance with state-mandated COVID-19 safety guidelines regardless of their industry. To help with the reopening of Montanan businesses, we are offering ready-to-use digital checklists business owners can use for free to ensure the safety of their workers and customers. Download iAuditor today.

Disclaimer: Please note that these checklists are hypothetical examples and provide basic information only. They are not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should also seek professional advice to determine if the use of such checklists are permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.


Juhlian Pimping

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Juhlian Pimping has been writing about safety and quality topics for SafetyCulture since 2018. Before writing for SafetyCulture full-time, Juhlian worked in customer service and wrote for an Australian RTO.