SEATTLE - Social distancing is no longer a thing, at least not at some of the most popular tourist sites in downtown Seattle.
June 30 marked the first day of Washington state’s full reopening. Large crowds of people out mingling in downtown Seattle could be seen at popular tourist spots. At the iconic Pike Place Market, businesses stayed busy.
"It’s great to hear live music," said Ingrid Conerly while visiting the Market.
"It’s just a touristy day," said Courtney Larson.
After more than 16 months, Larson and Conerly finally got to hang out with coworkers for the first time in a long time.
"It’s been so long we have not been together," Conerly said.
The difference is profound when you compare tourist sites in Seattle to this time last year, at the beginning of the pandemic.
It wasn’t just Pike Place Market bustling with people but also Seattle’s waterfront.
"I got vaccinated I’m good," Phillip Minnis said.
Minnis says he can't wait to socialize and hit up some of his favorite spots again.
"The bars but Ivar’s too," Minnis said.
Ivar’s was ready as well; their manager joyously welcomed crowds waiting to get inside as restaurants can now operate at full capacity.
"We are hiring staff back like crazy," Ivar’s owner Bob Donegan said.
Whether people were visiting from another state or one town away, visitors like Maggie Bailey says it finally feels like society is back.
"I think it’s awesome being able to see people’s facial expressions and smiles," Bailey said.
Some people chose to wear masks on Tuesday but many more chose to go bare face.
Another sign of progress is the fact the first two cruise ships came into Seattle’s waterfront this week. Those cruise lines will be prepped to take off on the first passenger voyage from Seattle on July 19.
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