Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Washington governor retracts restaurant contact requirement

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee sits at his desk and rehearses a speech Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., minutes before going live to address the public on the state's next steps in addressing the coronavirus outbreak. As Washington continues to struggle with getting all the equipment needed to test more possible residents for COVID-19, Gov. Jay Inslee lashed out at comments by President Donald Trump that testing is “overrated.” (Ted S. Warren / AP)

SEATTLE – Washington will not require restaurants to get customers’ contact information as initially planned as part of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Jay Inslee said.

The Democratic governor’s office in a news release Friday said that instead, businesses are asked to keep a list of those who voluntarily provide contact information.

He said the state only needs information from one person per household, and it will only be shared with public health officials if it turns out they might have been exposed to the virus.

The Seattle Times reports that the initial requirement for contact information that wasn’t voluntary came under fire from various groups as an invasion of privacy.

Restaurant owners also said they had concerns that staff would have to deal with customers who refused to disclose personal information.