COVID-19 shutdowns are history in Georgia as of Thursday.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order Wednesday that lifts gathering bans, shelter-in-place requirements and social distancing mandates at businesses through April 30. The order also stops businesses from being closed for not following the order’s provisions.
The order puts Georgia ahead of most other states in the movement to fully reopen. Kemp lifted restrictions early during the pandemic, which he credits for the state’s economic resiliency through the crisis.
“We developed a plan to reopen our economy last spring, and we fought every day since to protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians in the middle of a pandemic,” Kemp said in a video message. “Georgia has broken economic development records, and with a life-saving vaccine now being administered, we are taking steps every day to return to normal.”
Face coverings and social distancing still are recommended under the order. Businesses still will be required to follow health and sanitary precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus, including offering touch-free alternatives, conducting employee screenings and maintaining a proper ventilation system. The order calls for 42 inches of separation between seating or a physical barrier to separate groups in restaurants or bars. Schools and school districts are required to follow tighter restrictions than businesses.
“Georgians know the right thing to do,” Kemp said. “They know the best practices to protect themselves and their families, and moving forward together, we will put our fight with COVID-19 in the rearview mirror.”
This article was originally posted on Kemp lifts COVID-19 restrictions on Georgia businesses