Traveling from Minnesota to Nashville during a Pandemic
Last week myself and a bunch of other friends took a trip to Nashville, TN. This trip has been planned for over a year, and then COVID happened. We questioned whether or not to go because of obvious reasons. But, ultimately we decided to go anyway. Reading a lot online about what their restrictions were versus what the restrictions are here in Minnesota. We also talked with someone who lives there. The restrictions seemed to be about the same as they are here, so really, what's the difference? Plus, it was some different scenery for a week.
Some of the most important things that people want to see when in Music City is just that... see people performing and listening to great music. Happily, there was live music in every bar on Broadway that you would expect. Here are some of the changes:
- No dancing- in fact, the dance floor was roped off in most places.
- No standing up without a mask on- you can remove it while sitting at a table eating/drinking
- If you are in the bar, you need to be at a table. And those are limited.
- If you are outside on Broadway (most of the "honky tonks" are on this street) you will need to wear a mask even outside because it's too difficult to social distance. The other areas of town didn't require this, however.
We did enjoy many of the other things around the city that we could, plus, we stayed together in a VRBO, so there was no hotel with a lot of people in and out to worry about except just one night, and they leave each room empty for 24 hours before allowing another guest to stay.
What we noticed is that people were really willing to comply. Nashville was closed down twice. They just opened up again 3 weeks ago. So this time they were more careful. The musicians all play for tips. They don't get paid, other than that. So, if they don't play, they don't get paid...at all.
Nashville also has a strict 6 people at a table limit. We have that here in Minnesota, too, but this is really enforced there. At some places we could only sit 3 people at a table. Since there was 9 of us, we had to occupy 3 tables. That was interesting.
The ACMs were being filmed and presented while we were there. So, those 3 venues where that was happening were closed to the public. We were able to check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Johnny Cash museum, however.
They took our temperatures upon entry, and anyone entering had to stagger their tours, along with a mask requirement the entire time.
So, bottom line, if you plan to take a trip somewhere during all of this craziness that we have been dealing with, check to see what the restrictions are. Some places will make you show negative COVID test results with a 72 hour period, or will need to quarantine for 2 weeks. Tennessee isn't one of those places, but good idea to check ahead of time. But if you want to go somewhere- go. It was totally worth it. Just be smart about your behavior, and do take some precautions.
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