Bozeman Taproom Patio

A small crowd begins to form on the rooftop bar at Bozeman Taproom Friday, June 5, 2020, in Bozeman.

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The Gallatin City-County Board of Health will consider lifting restrictions on bars, restaurants, distilleries, breweries and casinos next Tuesday to keep in line with statewide orders.

Gov. Steve Bullock quietly announced June 3 that these establishments would be allowed to stay open one hour later, have limited seating at countertops and open poker tables beginning June 5.

The local board of health has so far followed the statewide reopening plan and endorsed an emergency health rule on May 28 that outlined what is and isn’t allowed in phase two. Board members will decide at Tuesday’s meeting whether to amend that emergency rule to follow the governor’s further easing of restrictions.

Matt Kelley, health officer for the Gallatin-City County Health Department, said in a news release that the health department’s intention is to keep pace with the rest of the state.

“The only changes being proposed to the local rule would be to make the local rule consistent with the governor’s directives issued earlier this week,” Kelley said.

In phase two, businesses were allowed to increase their capacity from 50% to 75%, but countertops at bars and restaurants were to stay off-limits and the mandatory closing time was 11:30 p.m. Under the proposed rule, businesses would be allowed to seat patrons at countertops if they’re seated 6 feet apart, 6 feet from taps and wells, and 6 feet from where drinks are passed to servers or where food is prepared.

Businesses would be allowed to stay open until 12:30 a.m.

Poker rooms would be allowed to reopen if they adhere to the same guidelines as those outlined for countertops. Players must sanitize their hands before entering a card room. Tables should be limited to six people. All staff will be asked to wear masks and to wash their hands in between cash transactions.

The local health board is allowed to enact rules that are more stringent than the governor’s, but not less strict.

The board of health’s Tuesday morning meeting will start at 7 a.m. in the Community Room on the third floor of the Gallatin County Courthouse. The board encourages the public to submit comments through email, view the meeting by streaming it online and participating by calling in.

More information can be found at

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Shaylee Ragar can be reached at or at 582-2607.