COVID-19 Updates 4/27/20

We wanted to give you an update from the Georgia Department of Economic Development regarding Governor Kemp’s executive order issued on April 20 to help provide partners and businesses with clear guidance on business operations in the state. 
This week, Gov. Kemp and the Georgia Department of Labor issued guidance addressing unemployment options and encouraging businesses to work with employees to determine a successful and safe return to work plan. Please read this helpful information here
As Georgians make plans for the days ahead, we hope the information below will be useful. The Governor is encouraging businesses to take a measured approach to ensure the health and safety of Georgians.  
This same information is on our website here and on our new “Frequently Asked Questions” page here

“Shelter in Place” Order 
Under the Governor’s original “shelter in place” order issued on April 2, a short list of business categories was required by the state to temporarily stop in-person operations. All other businesses have been allowed to continue to operate, as long as they follow specific guidelines and requirements. 

The chart on our Frequently Asked Questions page illustrates the other businesses categories and their guidelines for operations, along with the details below.

  1. Businesses that are considered “critical infrastructure” (per federal guidelines here) should follow a list of 17 regulations for health and safety here.   
  2. All other businesses not considered critical infrastructure may be open. They must limit their work to “Minimum Basic Operations” and must follow the 21 regulations here.  

Updated Guidance and Reopening 
On April 20, a new executive order and additional guidelines were issued as part of a phased approach to reopening.  
Some businesses that had been required to close may reopen in-person operations, if they choose, on April 24 and 27, depending on the type of business. Any business reopening that is not considered “critical” infrastructure must follow Minimum Basic Operations and the 21 health and wellness guidelines hereBars, nightclubs, amusement parks, public swimming pools, and live performance venues must remain closed.   
In cases where industry-specific guidance has been released, it is included below. 

As of April 20, elective medical practice providers are allowed to reopen. These businesses may begin treating patients as soon as it is realistically feasible in accordance with CDC guidelines to continue preventing the spread of COVID-19.  

  • These providers are not required to follow Minimum Basic Operations, but it is strongly suggested that they implement the 17 health and wellness guidelines suggested for “critical infrastructure” businesses listed here.
  • Health care businesses: Please see the guidelines available here.

On Friday, April 24, in all jurisdictions, the state will allow gyms, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, barbers, hair and nail salons, and massage therapists to reopen their doors. This does not require any business to open. Any that do choose to open must follow the “Minimum Basic Operations” required guidelines and these details

  • Body art studios, estheticians, hair designers, massage therapists, and tanning facilities: Please see the guidelines available here.
  • Bowling alleys: Please see the guidelines available here.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Please see the guidelines available here.

On Monday, April 27, indoor theaters, and restaurant dine-in services will be allowed – but not required – to reopen, subject to social distancing and sanitation directions. Additional guidance can be found here

  • Food establishments (such as retail and wholesale grocery stores): Please see the guidelines available here.
  • Restaurants and social clubs: Please see the guidelines available here.
  • Indoor theaters and cinemas: Please see the guidelines available here.

Businesses that must remain closed to the public and for whom in-person operations remain prohibited: 

  • Bars 
  • Nightclubs 
  • Live performance venues 
  • Amusement parks
  • Public swimming pools

For additional guidance, including “education and children,” “county and municipal governments,” “drivers’ services,” and other miscellaneous activities, see the details here.

People working outdoors without regular contact with others, such as delivery services, landscape businesses, and agricultural industry services shall practice social distancing and implement sanitation processes in accordance with guidelines published by the CDC.

The “shelter in place” order remains in effect for individuals through midnight on April 30. The Governor’s April 2 and April 20 executive orders override any local orders. Governor Kemp has also issued a Q&A page on the April 20 executive order, available here.

For details on how the executive order will be enforced, please see pages 24 and 25 of the executive order.