Safety at GAWDA SMC 2021: Nashville to Reduce Restrictions

Nashville Mayor Announces Expanded Hours and Capacity Guidelines as Vaccinations Increase in Davidson County

HOLLYWOOD, Florida ‒ As GAWDA Members prepare to meet face-to-face again safety in Nashville, TN for the GAWDA 2021 Spring Management Conference (SMC), we continue to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation.

Last week, Nashville Mayor John Cooper spoke with a group of 270 hospitality industry leaders about a plan to expand business hours and reduce capacity restrictions when vaccination rates reach 20 percent and 30 percent of Davidson County’s population.

Mayor Cooper also announced that local businesses should plan on the return of a live, in-person Independence Day celebration hosted by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation.

“Throughout this unprecedented and most difficult year, we’ve prioritized public health while also carefully considering the needs of our local businesses,” said Mayor Cooper. “Today, as vaccination rates continue climbing, we’re at a place where we should be very optimistic. We’ve come full circle as the SEC Tournament, the very first large event prevented by COVID in 2020, returns to Nashville this weekend. I want to make sure we get everyone back on their feet as safely and as quickly as we can. With your help, Nashville is turning the corner on the pandemic, and live in-person events will come roaring back.”

Public health changes will take place approximately one week after vaccination rates meet targeted thresholds to allow for immunity to build among vaccine recipients. If Nashville reaches a 20 percent vaccination rate next week, a new Public Health Order with the following changes can be expected by the weekend of March 27:

  • Indoor gatherings limit increases to 10 people (currently 8 people) without Health Department approval required.
  • Bar and restaurant capacity: Socially distanced, cap of 175 people per floor (currently 125)
    –  Bar counters: Maintain social distancing; no capacity percentage cap.
    – Restaurant and bar hours extended to 2:00 a.m. (currently 1:00 a.m.).
  • Increasing indoor dining party size to 10 people (currently 8 people), consistent with 10-person indoor gathering size guidance.
  • Increasing outdoor dining party size to 25, consistent with 25-person outdoor gathering limit.
  • Large, low-risk indoor conventions can have up to 2,000 people (currently 1,000 people) with Health Department approval.
  • Outdoor stadium capacity at 33 percent.
  • Events and “transportainment” can go until 2:00 a.m., consistent with restaurant and bar hours.
    – “Transportainment” can have groups up to 25, consistent with 25-person outdoor gathering limit.
  • Salons and personal contact businesses at full capacity with masks required.
  • Pool capacity at 75 percent bather load (currently 50 percent) and saunas open.
  • Museums and attractions: Groups to 10 allowed (currently 8).
  • Gyms at 75 percent capacity (currently 50 percent).
  • Attendance at sports leagues and scholastic events: 4 people per participant.

After Nashville reaches a 30 percent vaccination rate, the following changes will take effect in a separate Public Health Order:

  • Indoor gatherings limit increases to 15 people without Health Department approval required.
  • Bar and Restaurant Capacity: Socially distanced, cap of 225 people per floor.
  • Increasing indoor dining party size to 15 people, consistent with 15-person indoor gathering size guidance.
  • Large, low-risk indoor conventions can have up to 3,000 people with Health Department approval; 225 for very high-risk events.
  • Outdoor stadium capacity at 40 percent.
  • Attendance at sports leagues and scholastic events: 6 people per participant.

This is all positive news for GAWDA Members, as registration for the SMC has already exceeded 100 GAWDA Member companies.

Visit the SMC website at to view the agenda and learn more about our new educational sessions and enhanced safety protocols.

Register early and save! Early bird rates are now available.

Please contact Bruce Ellenbogen at 954-367-7728, ext. 230 or if you need assistance with your registration or are interesting in SMC sponsorships.



The Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) is dedicated to promoting the safe operation and economic vitality of distributors of industrial gases and related welding equipment supplies. Through its GAWDA Gives Back campaign, association members have donated almost $2 million over the last 17 years to 22 different charitable organizations in 13 communities across the U.S. Since 2013, GAWDA and its members also have provided scholarships totaling $196,000 to 98 young people interested in studies leading to careers in the industry. For more information, visit the association’s website at