Gold dome of the Georgia State Capitol.

COVID-19: Georgia’s new shelter-in-place order takes effect

Mark Gresham | 03 APR 2020 @ 6am ET

ATLANTA, GA–  In response to the growing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Brian P. Kemp issued a shelter-in-place order on Thursday evening for the State of Georgia. The order will become effective beginning Friday, April 3 at 6pm and expire on Monday, April 13 at 11:59pm.

View the executive order here.

View or download a PDF document of guidance and FAQs for the executive order here.

Kemp’s executive order was first announced on Wednesday in an outdoor press conference at Liberty Park, near the State Capitol in downtown Atlanta. Finalized details were revealed in the executive order upon publication by the State after it was signed by the Governor on Thursday.

The helpful 22-page PDF handout of guidance and FAQs spells out in detail what is expected of businesses, organizations and the general public during the period of time the order is in force.


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Under Kemp’s executive order, businesses and professionals that must cease in-person operations and close to the public include bars, nightclubs, gyms, fitness centers, bowling allies, theaters, live performance venues, operators of amusement parks, dine in-services at restaurants and private social clubs o exceptions: take-out; curbside pick-up; delivery; and dine-in services at hospitals, health care facilities, nursing homes, or other long-term care facilities, estheticians (e.g., waxing, threading, eyelash extensions, cosmetic treatments), hair designers, body art studios (commonly known as tattoo parlors), beauty shops and salons (including home beauty shops and salons), barber shops (including home barber shops), cosmetology schools, hair design schools, barbering schools, esthetics schools, nail care schools, licensed massage therapists.

All other entities may continue to operate subject to specific restrictions. Those restrictions vary depending on whether the entity is defined by the order as as being part of “Critical Infrastructure.”

The guidelines and FAQs document defines businesses and organizations that are part of Critical Infrastructure and 16 requirements they are encouraged to follow in Attachment A. Those that are not Critical Infrastructure. Are required to follow social distancing rules, engage only in minimum basic operations and meet a total of 20 requirements listed in Attachment B.


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For individuals and families, bother residents of Georgia and visitors, the basic rule is that they are required to shelter in place inn their residences during the term of the executive order – which means remaining in their residences and taking every possible precaution to limit social interaction to present the spread of or infection from COVID-19.

Exceptions to the basic shelter-in-place rule fall into four groups: 1) engaging in essential services, 2) working in critical infrastructure, 3) engaging in minimum basic operations, and 4) and performing necessary travel. Each of these categories is explained in the guidelines and FAQs. In addition, no county of municipal government is allowed to have more than 10 people gathered in a single location unless there is at lest six feet of distance between each person at all times. The Governor’s executive order supersedes all local ordinances to the extent they are in conflict;, no local ordinances my be more restrictive or less restrictive than the executive order itself.

The final page of the guidelines and FAQs addresses common questions concerning work exceptions, violations of the order, church services and funerals, state parks and outdoor recreation. ■


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