Gov. Kemp ends most COVID-19 restrictions
With the stroke of his pen, Gov. Brian Kemp’s signed three new executive orders that went into place this week ending most COVID-19 restrictions the state has been under since last March. Kemp’s orders ended the state’s gathering ban, shelter-in-place, and distance requirements. In doing so, Kemp announced that ‘Georgia is Open for Business’.
The final executive order includes:
- Eliminating the gatherings ban.
- Eliminating shelter-in-place requirements.
- Removing the critical infrastructure distinction and collapses all organization suggested measures into one main list, with a few additional industry-specific requirements remaining.
- Reducing any remaining distance requirements (i.e. distance between parties at restaurants, bars, and movie theaters, and between patrons of group fitness classes).
- Eliminating the ability of law enforcement to close an organization for failure to comply with the executive order provisions.
Even with the new executive order in place, Kemp is still urging people to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Kemp’s latest actions are receiving mixed reviews with Georgians. After a year of struggling to bring in customers, while keeping the virus out, many businesses welcomed the governor’s order. However, not all are rushing to alter their business model just yet. Many say they will keep their restrictions in place until more people are vaccinated, the virus and variants numbers are reduced, and everyone is safe. They point to limited seating and an active take-out service which has allowed them to stay afloat during the restrictive period.