Visiting Nashville Amid COVID-19 Recovery

UPDATED 1/2/21 The bomb blast on Christmas Day has closed 2nd Avenue, North but other businesses are operating as usual under COVID-19 guidelines. Read on for current information.

COVID RESTRICTIONS  Face masks are mandated in public but can be removed when eating or drinking. Non-compliance could result in a $50 fine. Social distancing practices are in effect.

Tennessee guidelines vs. Nashville guidelines

Yes, they’re different. Our governor has only suggested wearing masks and social distancing in the 89 counties that don’t have their own public health departments. However, some of these counties have decided to require masks but this seems to be ever-changing. The five others, including Nashville/Davidson County, are setting their own, more conservative COVID standards. Individual businesses may have additional guidelines in place. Groups are limited to 10 people with churches and in-home gatherings exempt. This restriction expires January 19, 2021.

Social distancing at Tailgate
Mask off for eating and drinking. Mask on otherwise in public places.

What to Know in Nashville

Modified Phase 3 in effect

  • Everyone 12 years old and older must wear a mask when in public. Some attractions have a lower age restriction.
  • Restaurants and bars: must issue a last call at 10pm but carry-out can continue for food (not alcohol); parties of 8 allowed; 50% occupancy or 100 patrons allowed per floor, whichever is less; all patrons must be seated. No entry after 10pm.
  • Occupancy for limited-service restaurants and bars is capped at 25 guests indoors and 25 outdoors. Bar seating (but not standing) is allowed. 
  • Live entertainment is permitted but must be distanced from patrons. Dance floors closed. Transpotainment including party buses, pedal taverns can reopen at 50% capacity with a maximum of 10 people who must all be of one party. No alcohol consumption on board. Vehicles must be off the street by 10:30pm. Masks worn when not eating or drinking.
  • Sporting events, festivals, concerts, and such must limit guests to 1/3 capacity with a cap of 125 people.
  • Most museums have reopened at 50% occupancy with special restrictions in place. Among those that have reopened: The Johnny Cash Museum, Patsy Cline Museum, Cheekwood, Adventure Science Center, Nashville Zoo and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Note: some attractions and restaurants have additional restrictions such as advance reservations, credit-card only payment, temperature checks and lower age requirements for masks. Some may have shortened operating hours.
  • The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation has created a Good-To-Go site to promote businesses complying with all safety guidelines.
  • Retail stores are open at 75% capacity.
  • No mask required for outdoor exercise such as running or biking.
  • Weddings, funerals and similar gatherings can have a maximum of 125 attendees (awaiting clarification on this one).
  • Events: with Metro’s approval, gatherings of up to 30% of venue capacity not to exceed 500 people.
  • Fans allowed at Titans and Nashville Soccer Club events, capped at 10% occupancy.
  • Grand Ole Opry welcomes fans at 10% occupancy. Parties limited to six people.
  • Dance floors remain closed; no standing at bars.

TIP: Many of the honky tonks/restaurants on or near Lower Broadway have patios or rooftop decks allowing you to get fresh air while dining.

Here’s my guide to every honky tonk on Lower Broadway.

Useful Resources

The Downtown Partnership frequently updates information on specific businesses.

Now on to more upbeat topics:

» Off-Broadway honky tonks
» Outdoor fun
» 30+ activities for families


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