Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has placed the State of Georgia under a shelter-in-place Executive Order. The order took effect Friday evening and is currently scheduled to expire after April 13.
Individuals are required to stay home and take every possible precaution to limit social interaction to prevent the spread or infection of COVID-19. However, there are exceptions for engaging in essential services (as defined by the order), working in critical infrastructure, engaging in minimum basic operations of non-critical infrastructure, and performing necessary travel (as defined).
The order requires that some businesses and professionals cease in-person operations and close to the public during this time. These include bars, nightclubs, gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, theaters, live performance venues, amusement parks, dine-in services at restaurants and private social clubs (with exceptions for take-out, curbside pick-up, and delivery, and for dine-in services at hospitals, health care facilities, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities), esthetics businesses and schools, hair designer and barber businesses and schools, body art studios, beauty shops and salons, cosmetology schools, nail care schools, and licensed massage therapy businesses.
The order divides other businesses into two categories: “critical infrastructure” or “non-critical infrastructure.” According to the Statewide Shelter in Place Handout developed by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, critical infrastructure businesses may continue in-person operations and are encouraged to comply with 16 items specified in the Order. Non-critical infrastructure must follow the social distancing rule, must engage only in minimum basic operations (as defined in the order), and must meet 20 requirements specified in the Order.
“Critical infrastructure” includes businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profits, and organizations that are designated as “essential critical infrastructure workforce” in guidance revised on March 28 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is appended to the Shelter in Place Handout linked above. It also includes suppliers that provide essential goods and services to the “critical infrastructure” workforce as well as entities that provide legal and home hospice services, and non-profit corporations or non-profit organizations that offer food distribution or health or mental health services.
According to the order, the Georgia Department of Economic Development has been authorized to issue guidance to any business regarding its status as critical infrastructure within the meaning of the order.
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