August 31st Executive Orders On August 31, Gov. Kemp released a new Executive Order extending the state’s Public Health Emergency order to October 10. Kemp also extended his COVID-19 guidelines order that requires social distancing, bans gatherings of more than 50 people unless there is a distance of 6 feet between each person, outlines mandatory criteria for businesses, and requires sheltering in place for those living in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile, among other provisions. That order now runs through September 15.
On July 15, Gov. Kemp released a new Executive Order extending the gatherings ban of more than 50 people, renewing business restrictions, protecting the medically fragile, and strongly encouraging Georgians to wear masks in public. Newly added to this executive order is the banning of cities and counties from mandating masks. This order expires July 31.
July 15th Executive Order
Kemp said in a news release Monday that the new order extends the emergency until August 11, 2020.
June 29th Executive Order: Governor Kemp Extends State of Emergency to August 11
“Executive Order 06.29.20.02 continues to require social distancing, bans gatherings of more than fifty people unless there is six feet between each person, outlines mandatory criteria for businesses, and requires sheltering in place for those living in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile,” Kemp said. “The order also outlines that the State Board of Education must provide ‘rules, regulations, and guidance for the operation of public elementary and secondary schools for local boards of education’ in accordance with guidance the Department of Public Health.”
Read the full executive order here.
June 11th Executive Order
On June 11th, Gov. Kemp released a new Executive Order in response to COVID-19. Unless noted otherwise in specific sections, the order goes into effect at 12 a.m. on June 16, 2020 and runs through 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2020. Key points are summarized below:
Sports:Effective June 16, professional sports teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by their respective leagues. High school and collegiate teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by their applicable conferences or associations. Amateur sports teams and organizations must follow the criteria for non-critical infrastructure entities outlined in the order.
Sheltering in Place:
Effective immediately, residents and visitors of Georgia who are sixty-five years of age or older are no longer required to shelter in place unless they meet certain categories.
Drinking and Eating (effective June 16):
In restaurants and dining rooms, there is no longer a party maximum for the number of people who can sit together. There is no longer a limit on the number of patrons allowed per square foot. Workers at restaurants, dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, and private reception venues are only required to wear face coverings when they are interacting with patrons. In a bar, now you can have fifty people – up from twenty-five – or thirty-five percent of total listed fire capacity, whichever is greater. For salad bars and buffets, a worker can use cafeteria-style service to serve patrons or the establishment can provide hand sanitizer, install a sneeze guard, enforce social distancing, and regularly replace shared utensils to allow patron self-service.
Overnight Summer Camps (effective June 16):
Campers and workers may not attend an overnight summer camp unless they have received a negative COVID-19 test within twelve days – up from seven days – prior to starting camp.
Effective July 1, a “convention” may occur if it meets twenty-one specific requirements in addition to the requirements for non-critical infrastructure entities. “Convention” means “an organized event of more than 100 persons that are required to register or obtain a license to gather for a common purpose at a single indoor facility or grouping of indoor facilities for more than four hours and in some cases for more than one day” and “shall include exhibitions, trade shows, conferences, and business retreats.” The term “convention” does not include any regular operation of a business that occurs on property owned or leased for the exclusive operation of such business, nor does the term encompass regular religious services, business meetings, sports competitions, or events categorized by O.C.G.A. § 16-11-173(b)(1)(A).
Live Performance Venues:
Effective July 1, a “live performance venue” may reopen for business if it complies with specific criteria based on whether it is designated Tier I, II, or III. There are certain exceptions in the order for drive-in performances; private recording sessions, livestream performances, practices, fanless events, and rehearsals; and non-ticketed or free events. “Live Performance Venue” means “any indoor or outdoor location that requires patrons to purchase a license to attend an event featuring live musical, dramatical, automotive, educational, or any other type of entertainment performed before in-person patrons.” The term does not include restaurants and dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, private reception venues, weddings, drive-in venues, or events held as part of a convention, and the term does not include outdoor recreational fields used for amateur sporting events.
Effective June 16:
At indoor movie theaters and cinemas, there is no longer a limit on the number of people who may sit together in a party. Walk-ins are now allowed at body art studios, barber shops, hair salons, their respective schools, massage therapy establishments, and tanning facilities subject to specific requirements.
Mandatory requirements for operating non-critical infrastructure businesses, for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations are extended through the end of the month. Specific requirements for previously closed businesses remain in effect.
On May 28th, Gov. Kemp released a new Executive Order in response to COVID-19. Citizens and businesses are encouraged to review and share GMA's summary of the order, attached below.
May 28th Executive Order
May 12th Executive Order – Additional Guidance on Bars & Nightclubs, Restaurants & Summer Camps
On May 12th, Gov. Kemp released a new Executive Order in response to COVID-19. Key points are summarized below:
- Live performance venues, bars and night clubs must remain closed through May 31, 2020.
- Sheltering in Place for vulnerable populations remains in effect until June 12, 2020.
- Gatherings of more than 10 people remain banned for all non-critical businesses including social groups, informal groups and sports.
- Starting May 14, 2020 summer day camps can operate if they follow measures outlined in the governor’s executive order.
- Restaurants can allow 10 patrons per 300 square feet of public space and increase party size to 10 per table.
- Gov. Kemp also announced the rollout of the Healthy Georgia Collaborative, a contact tracing tool to help map and isolate the spread of COVID-19.
What Does the Expiration of Governor Kemp's Shelter in Place Order Mean?
While the Governor's shelter in place order expired last night at 11:59 PM, that does not mean the pandemic is no longer a concern nor that health and safety precautions may be lessened. This is the first phase in our return to recovery–we are still a long way from a return to normalcy. To that end:
Yes, the order has been lifted, but you still need to be careful. Limit your exposure to others. If it is possible to work from home, work from home. If you have to go out, take precautions. If you are reopening your business, do so under the government-mandated restrictions. We are a community, and to get through this we must work together. It is our responsibility–all of us–to ensure safety practices are in place, so that we may move forward into the next phase of recovery.
- The elderly and medically fragile are still required to shelter in place through June 12.
- While certain businesses are allowed to resume limited operations (note, LIMITED), they may ONLY open if they meet specific, mandatory social distancing and sanitation rules to keep customers and employees safe, including the use of masks and appropriate distancing. ALL businesses, even those deemed "essential" in previous orders, must follow these requirements. Bars, night clubs, amusement parks, live performances venues and public pools remain closed at this time.
- All Georgians are to continue to maintain social distancing, limit their travel and use best practices. Gatherings of more than 10 people will not be allowed unless it is possible to maintain 6 feet of distance.
The Governor's Office has provided guidance on what we each should be doing in this new phase, whether a business, citizen, employee, etc. Please take the time to peruse those documents relevant to you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the office of the Governor at gov.georgia.gov, email@example.com or 404-656-1776.
Governor's Guidance (PDF)
April 20th Executive Order Allowing Certain Businesses to Resume Operations
On April 20, Governor Kemp announced new guidance to allow more businesses the option to open on April 24 and 27 if they follow Minimum Basic Operations and specific health and wellness guidelines. Gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, estheticians, hair designers and persons licensed to practice massage therapy are permitted to resume operations, while bars, nightclubs, amusement parks and live performance venues will remain closed. The Georgia Department of Economic Development is authorized to issue guidance to any business, corporation, organization or industry trade group regarding its status. As such, all questions related to how Governor Kemp’s Order affects your business should be directed to the following: georgia.org/COVID19 or 404-656-1776.