Gov. Kemp lifts shelter-in-place for older Georgians, amends other virus restrictions
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s latest executive order takes a big step back toward returning to normal business.
Kemp on Thursday lifted major restrictions that were in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those that affected people over 65 years old – although people in long-term care facilities or with health issues must still shelter in place.
But everyone will be affected by other aspects of the order.
Kemp signed the 40-page-order just before an earlier and more restrictive order was to expire. The new order, allowed under the health care emergency authority granted Kemp by lawmakers, will go into effect on June 16 at midnight and run through June 30, unless otherwise stated.
The move comes as there has been an uptick in reported coronavirus infections and deaths in Georgia. Georgia had recorded nearly 55,000 cases through Thursday, with 2,375 deaths.
Here are the high points of the executive order:
• Professional sports teams and organizations must follow rules and guidelines set by their respective leagues.
• High school and collegiate teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by applicable conferences or associations.
Georgia residents and visitors who are 65 or older are no longer required to shelter in place unless they meet any of the following categories:
• Those who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, including inpatient hospice, assisted living communities, personal care homes, intermediate care homes, community living arrangements and community integration homes.
• Those who have chronic lung disease.
• Those who have moderate to severe asthma.
• Those who have severe heart disease.
• Those who are immunocompromised.
• Those people, of any age, with class III or severe obesity.
• Those with diabetes, liver disease and chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis.
• Effective June 16, gatherings of more than 50 people are banned unless there is at least six feet between each person.
• In restaurants and dining rooms, there will be no party maximum for the number of people who can sit together.
• There will no longer be 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.
• A bar can now have 50 people or 35 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.
• Effective July 1, a “live performance venue” may reopen for business if it complies with specific criteria. There are certain exceptions for drive-in performances; private recording sessions, livestream performances, practices, fanless events and rehearsals and non-ticketed or free events. “Live Performance Venue” is defined as “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.
From reports by WRDW, WALB and The Associated Press