Gov. Brian Kemp has signed an executive order that allows bars and nightclubs to reopen June 1 and extends many coronavirus precautions for Georgians until July 12 as the state continues with “measured steps forward" against the virus.
First and foremost, the public health emergency is extended another 30 days.
“This declaration plays a critical important role in our battle against coronavirus,” Kemp said. “It allows for enhanced partnerships between the private and public sectors, for our healthcare infrastructure procurement of supplies in coordination across all levels of government.”
The governor also said a decrease in hospitalizations and increase in testing capacity is guiding Georgia into “a slow, careful transition to the new normal.”
The executive order keeps intact a shelter-in-place order for Georgians 65 or older and those deemed “medically fragile,” which keeps those people in their homes except for essential services like food, groceries and medical care.
“From day one of this journey, we have used data, science and the advice of healthcare professionals like [Public Health Commissioner] Dr. Toomey to chart our path forward,” Kemp said. “Our next step, like the ones before, puts the health and well-being of the citizenry first.”
The new order increases the size of public gatherings – with social distancing rules – up to 25 people in a single location, including “small weddings, recreational sports and similar events.”
Live performance venues will stay closed, but bars and nightclubs will be allowed to reopen if they follow 39 mandatory health and safety measures.
That includes limiting capacity and party size and additional sanitation.
Overnight summer camps can start up if they meet 33 different precautions, and amusement parks can reopen to guests June 12 under new criteria as well.