Updated: Apr 4
No letters of travel authorization are needed, many businesses may remain open as critical infrastructure businesses, and groups larger than 10 may gather as long as they can maintain a six-foot distance between each other at al times.
Georgia Executive Order 04.02.20.01, signed yesterday, April 2, by Governor Brian Kemp, brings the state in line with 39 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Navajo Nation, that already had statewide stay-at-home orders on the books. An additional seven states, including neighboring South Carolina, have orders in specific cities or counties, but no statewide order in place.
Georgia’s Order, which will go into effect at 6 p.m. today, will be in place until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 13, when the Public Health State of Emergency status (Order 03.14.20.01), declared by Kemp on March 14, expires. If Kemp extends the State of Emergency, he could also extend the Stay-at-home order.
The provisions and regulations in the Shelter-In-Place are mandated, not merely recommended, and the Order does carry the weight of law, with a misdemeanor violation charge and possible fines and jail time., Toccoa Police Chief Jimmy Mize told ConnectLocal last night shortly after the Order was put in place that TPD would not be stopping individuals to confirm their purpose for being out of their home.
“We’ve been stopping when there are crowds, and sending people on their way; we’ve been doing that for a bit now, and that will just continue,” he said.
“You do not need a letter from your employer or the government to prove that you fall into one of the exceptions for Essential Services, Necessary Travel, Critical Infrastructure, or Minimum Basic Operations.” states a clarification memo released by the ACCG yesterday evening.
If you violate any of the terms of the Order, you are committing a misdemeanor which is a crime in the state of Georgia. For example, if you are not sheltering in place and non of the four exceptions … applies to your activities, you will receive a warning from law enforcement and risk facing criminal charges if you fail to comply.”
The mandate regarding social distancing – requiring that gatherings be limited to ten or fewer people and that everyone must remain at least six feet from each other – applies to church services and funerals.
“Unfortunately, several community outbreaks can be directly attributed to recent, in-person church services and funeral services,” states the memo. “For elderly Georgians and the chronically ill, exposure to novel coronavirus can be deadly.”
Outdoor recreation is not prohibited, as long as social distancing rules are being followed.
“You can visit state parks and play sports outside, including golf, subject to certain restrictions,” the memo states. “Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned unless there is at least six feet between each person at all times.”
All residents of Georgia, as well as visitors to the state, “are required to shelter in place in their residences,” the Order states. “Shelter in place means remain in their residences and taking every possible precaution t limit social interaction to prevent the spread or infection of COVID-19.”
Individuals who are engaged in a set of “essential services,” are working in Critical Infrastructure businesses, or are performing minimum basic operations for non-critical infrastructure businesses, are exempt from the shelter-in-place order, but only during times when actively involved in those exempted activities. Necessary travel to and from the three exempted activities is allowed.
“Essential services means obtaining necessary supplies and services for your household, engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of your household, and engaging in outdoor exercise activities as long as you have at least six feet between people who do not live in your household,” the clarification memo states. “You can go the the grocery store, medical appointment, and the pharmacy. You can go pic up food or have food delivered to your house. You can leave your house to buy supplies to clean or maintain your house. You can go outside to exercise. You can also leave our house in an emergency.”
“The key takeaway is that you need to stay in your house as much as possible, but we recognize that there are circumstances when you will need to leave,” states the memo. “Keep those circumstances rare, consolidate trips as much as possible, and use take-out, curbside pick-up, and delivery services wherever possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Specific businesses and service providers were instructed to cease in-person operations and close for the duration of the Order, including:
Bars, nightclubs, gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, theaters, live performance venues, operators of amusement parks, estheticians (e.g. waxing, threading, eyelash extensions and cosmetic treatments), hair designers, body art studios (tattoo parlors), beauty shops and salons (including those run from a residence), barber shops (including those run from a residence), cosmetology schools, hair design schools, barbering schools, aesthetics schools, nail care schools and licensed massage therapists.
Dine in restaurants and private social clubs were also ordered to close, but take-out, curbside pickup and delivery services may continue; dine-in services may continue at hospitals, healthcare facilities, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Other than those specifically listed above, all businesses and enterprises may continue to operate, but will be restricted based on whether the business is a “critical infrastructure.”
Businesses not identified as critical infrastructures my only engage in Minimum Basic Operations and must meet a list of 20 requirements.
Businesses identified as “Critical Infrastructure" may continue in-person operations, but are encouraged to implement a list of 16 procedures.
16 measures for Critical Infrastructure businesses