Governor Kemp Announces Plan to Reopen Businesses - Here is What We Know
Governor Brian Kemp outlined plans Monday afternoon to allow some businesses closed due to the coronavirus pandemic to reopen by the end of the week. Each grouping of businesses will be required to follow additional guidelines. A copy of that Executive Order can be found HERE.
On Friday April 24 the following businesses can reopen for Minimum Basic Operations:
- fitness centers
- bowling alleys
- body art studios
- hair designers
- nail care artists
- cosmetology, hair design, esthetics and nail care schools
- massage therapists
- beauty shops
- beauty salons
- home-based beauty salons, beauty shops and barbershops
These businesses may begin Minimum Basic Operations as long as they utilize measures to avoid the exposure to and spread of COVID-19. Those specific measures include:
- Screening and evaluating workers who exhibit signs of illness, such as fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, or shortness of breath;
- Requiring workers who exhibit signs of illness not to report to work or to seek medical attentions;
- Enhancing sanitation of the workplace as appropriate;
- Requiring hand washing or sanitation by workers at appropriate places within the business location;
- Providing personal protective equipment as available and appropriate to the function and location of the work within the business location;
- Prohibiting gathering of workers during working hours;
- Permitting employees to take breaks and meals outside, in their office or personal workspace, or in such other areas where proper social distance is obtainable;
- Implementing teleworking for all possible workers;
- Implementing staggered shifts for all possible workers;
- Holding all meetings and conferences virtually, wherever possible;
- Delivering intangible services remotely, wherever possible;
- Discouraging workers from using other workers phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment;
- Prohibiting handshaking and other unnecessary person-to-person contact in the workplace;
- Placing notices that encourage hand hygiene at the entrance to the workplace and in other workplace areas that are likely to be seen;
- Suspending the use of Personal Identification Number (PIN) pads, PIN entry devices, electronic signature capture, and any other credit card receipt signature requirements to the extent that such suspension is permitted by agreements with credit card companies and credit agencies;
- Enforcing social distancing of non-cohabitating persons while present on such entity's leased or owned property;
- For retailers and service providers, providing for alternative points of sale outside the buildings, including curbside pickup or delivery of products and/or services if an alternative point of sale is permitted under Georgia Law;
- Increasing physical space between workers and customers;
- Providing disinfectant and sanitation products for workers to clean their workplaces, equipment and tools;
- Increasing physical space between workers' worksites to at least six (6) feet.
That consistent with previous Executive Orders, Minimum Basic Operations are limited to:
- The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of a business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, or organization, provide services, manage inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions. Such minimum necessary activities include remaining open to the public subject to the restrictions of this Order.
- The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees or volunteers being able to work remotely from their residences or members or patrons being able to participate remotely from their residences.
- Instances where employees are working outdoors without regular contact with other persons, such as delivery services, contractors, landscape businesses, and agricultural industry services.
Restaurants and Theaters
Governor Kemp stated that restaurants and theaters would be able to open up under new guidelines beginning on Monday, April 27th. Those guidelines have not been released and are not covered under the newest order.
Bars, nightclubs, operators of amusement park rides & live performance venues will remain closed.
All medical practices, dental practices, orthodontics practices, optometry practices, physical therapists, ambulatory surgical centers, physicians performing elective surgeries, healthcare institutions, medical facilities, and any and all other healthcare related practices and services that have elected to cease operations because of the spread of COVID-19 should begin treating patients as soon as practicable in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines, and the provisions of this Order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All such healthcare-related practices and services shall not be subject to Minimum Basic Operations restrictions but should consider implementing the operational guidelines provided in Executive Order 04.02.20.01 for Critical Infrastructure.
The Governor noted that churches may have traditional in-facility services as long as they can meet the requirements of his order, but he stressed that online and live streamed services are the best options.
What if I have questions about the order?
The order from the Governor states that the requirements are statewide and cannot be made more or less restrictive by local governmental bodies. Additionally any enforcement of these orders falls to the Georgia State Patrol or local Sheriff's Department.
What about the Shelter in Place Order?
The Governor's Order for Shelter in Place is still in effect through 11:59 p.m. on April 30th. Limit your travel and limit who goes with you on errands to prevent potential exposure. If possible, wear face masks or cloth coverings when you are in public to slow the spread of coronavirus.