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Kemp further eases restrictions on gatherings, businesses, shelter-in-place
Kemp press conference
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference April 1, 2020, at Liberty Plaza across the street from the Georgia state Capitol building in downtown Atlanta. - photo by Alyssa Pointer | Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

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Gov. Brian Kemp signed a new executive order Thursday further relaxing rules implemented earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, including easing restrictions on gatherings, conventions, the number of patrons in businesses, face coverings and shelter-in-place requirements.

Georgia residents and visitors ages 65 and older are no longer required to shelter in place unless they fall into certain health and living categories, according to the new executive order signed by Kemp Thursday, June 11.

The groups required to shelter in place if 65 or older include:

  • People living in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, inpatient hospice, assisted living communities, personal care homes, intermediate care homes, community living arrangements and community integration homes

  • People with chronic lung disease

  • People with moderate to severe asthma

  • People with severe heart disease

  • Immunocompromised people

  • People of any age with class III or severe obesity

  • People diagnosed with diabetes, liver disease

  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis

The sheltering-in-place rules take effect immediately.

The executive order also touched on entertainment, dining and other recreation, as professional sports teams starting June 16 “must follow the rules and guidelines set by their respective leagues.”

High schools and collegiate teams will heed the rules set by their conferences and association, but amateur sports will be under the non-critical infrastructure criteria.

There is a ban effective June 16 on gatherings of more than 50 people unless there is 6 feet of space between people.

“This rule does not apply to critical infrastructure entities, incidental or transitory groupings, or cohabitating individuals,” according to a news release from Kemp’s office.

Those attending or working at an overnight summer camp must have a negative COVID-19 test within 12 days prior to camp. This goes into effect June 16 along with eliminating the maximum party allowed to sit together at restaurants and dining rooms. 

“There is no longer a limit on the number of patrons allowed per square foot. Workers at restaurants, dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, and private reception venues are only required to wear face coverings when they are interacting with patrons,” according to the news release.

Bars can have 50 people or 35% of their fire capacity. Salad bars and buffets can either have a cafeteria-style service from a worker or implement hand sanitizer, sneeze guards, social distancing and regularly replaced utensils if they want patrons to serve themselves.

Patron walk-ins are allowed starting June 16 at body art studios, barber shops, hair salons, massage therapy establishments, tanning facilities and their respective schools. There will also be no limit on the number of people sitting together at indoor movie theaters.

On July 1, conventions and live performance venues can resume if they meet certain requirements and specific criteria.

Outside of the conventions and live performance venues, the rules of the executive order run from midnight June 16 through 11:59 p.m. June 30.