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Posted on: April 2, 2020

Governor extends COVID-19 executive order (updated Sept. 15)

Graphic featuring "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)" text over coronavirus cell. Graphic re

Sept. 15, 2020

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday signed an executive order that extends his public health emergency through Sept. 30  and modifies regulations regarding long-term health care facilities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Order 09.15.20.01: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19


Sept. 1, 2020

Kemp Renews Public Health State of Emergency, COVID-19 Safety Measures

(From the Office of Governor Brian P. Kemp)

On Aug. 31,  Gov. Brian P. Kemp signed two executive orders extending the Public Health State of Emergency and existing COVID-19 safety measures.

Executive Order 08.31.20.01 extends the Public Health State of Emergency through 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 10. The Public Health State of Emergency allows for enhanced coordination across government and the private sector for supply procurement, comprehensive testing, and healthcare capacity.

By renewing the applicability of existing language, Executive Order 08.31.20.02 continues to require social distancing, bans gatherings of more than 50 people unless there is 6 feet between each person, outlines mandatory criteria for businesses, and requires sheltering in place for those living in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile, among other provisions. The order runs through 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 15.


Aug. 2, 2020

On July 31, Gov. Brian Kemp issued two executive orders that continued the state’s public health emergency until Sept. 11 and maintains a number of in-place restrictions governing operations at restaurants and bars.

Executive Order 07.31.20.01 - Renewal of Public Health State of Emergency (PDF)

Executive Order 07.31.20.02 - Empowering a Healthy Georgia (PDF)


July 15, 2020

Hours before the expiration of a previously issued executive order, Gov. Brian Kemp on July 15 extended COVID-19 precautions through July 31, 2020.

Executive order 07.15.20.01 extends the gatherings ban of more than 50 people, renews business restrictions, and requires sheltering in place for those living in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile.

The executive order also strongly encourages Georgians to wear masks in public, falling short of a mandate, while also reiterating that no local action can be more or less restrictive than the state’s order.

Read the entire executive order here.

“To flatten the curve, I urge all local elected officials to enforce the terms of this order,” Kemp said via his Twitter account Wednesday night. "Together, we will keep fighting (the novel coronavirus), weather this storm, and emerge stronger than ever."


 June 29, 2020

Gov. Kemp Extends COVID-19 Executive Orders

(From the Office of Governor Brian P. Kemp)

 Governor Brian P. Kemp on Monday signed two executive orders extending the Public Health State of Emergency and existing COVID-19 safety measures.

"As we continue our fight against COVID-19 in Georgia, it is vital that Georgians continue to heed public health guidance by wearing a mask, washing their hands regularly, and practicing social distancing," said Governor Kemp. "We have made decisions throughout the pandemic to protect the lives - and livelihoods - of all Georgians by relying on data and the advice of public health officials."

"While we continue to see a decreasing case fatality rate, expanded testing, and adequate hospital surge capacity, in recent days, Georgia has seen an increase in new cases reported and current hospitalizations. Given these trends, I am extending previous COVID-19 safety requirements and guidelines that were due to expire on June 30 at 11:59 p.m.. Dr. Kathleen Toomey and the Department of Public Health, along with our local public health partners, will continue to monitor ongoing cases and related data to ensure that we are taking appropriate measures moving forward. Together, we can win the fight against COVID-19 and emerge stronger."

Executive Order 06.29.20.01 extends the Public Health State of Emergency through 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2020. The Public Health State of Emergency allows for enhanced coordination across government and the private sector for supply procurement, comprehensive testing, and healthcare capacity.

Executive Order 06.29.20.02 continues to require social distancing, bans gatherings of more than 50 people unless there is 6 feet between each person, outlines mandatory criteria for businesses, and requires sheltering in place for those living in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile. The order also outlines that the State Board of Education must provide "rules, regulations, and guidance for the operation of public elementary and secondary schools for local boards of education" in accordance with guidance from Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the Department of Public Health, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The order runs through 11:59 p.m. on July 15, 2020.

Read Executive Orders 06.29.20.01 and 06.29.20.02.


June 11, 2020

Gov. Kemp Signs New COVID-19 Executive Order

(From the Office of Governor Brian P. Kemp)

Highlights:

  • Effective Tuesday, June 16, gatherings will be limited to no  more than 50 people unless there is at least 6 feet between each person.
  • In restaurants and dining rooms starting June 16, there will no longer a party maximum for the number of people who can sit together. There is no longer a limit on the number of patrons allowed per square foot. In a bar, now you can have 50 people — up from 25 — or 35% of total listed fire capacity, whichever is greater. 
  • As of June 16, walk-ins will be allowed at body art studios, barber shops, hair salons, their respective schools, massage therapy establishments, and tanning facilities subject to specific requirements.
  • Mandatory requirements for operating non-critical infrastructure businesses, for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations are extended through the end of June. Specific requirements for previously closed businesses remain in effect.

Governor Brian P. Kemp on Thursday signed Executive Order 06.11.20.01 - Empowering a Healthy Georgia. The order addresses ongoing emergency response efforts for fighting the spread of COVID-19. Unless noted otherwise in specific sections, the order goes into effect at 12  a.m. on Tuesday, June 16,  and runs through 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2020.

Sports: Effective June 16, professional sports teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by their respective leagues. High school and collegiate teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by their applicable conferences or associations. Amateur sports teams and organizations must follow the criteria for non-critical infrastructure entities outlined in the order.

Sheltering in Place: Effective immediately, residents and visitors of Georgia who are 65 years of age or older are no longer required to shelter in place unless they meet any of the following categories:

Those persons who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, including inpatient hospice, assisted living communities, personal care homes, intermediate care homes, community living arrangements, and community integration homes
Those persons who have chronic lung disease
Those persons who have moderate to severe asthma
Those persons who have severe heart disease
Those persons who are immunocompromised
Those persons, of any age, with class III or severe obesity
Those persons diagnosed with the following underlying medical conditions: diabetes, liver disease, and persons with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis

Gatherings: Effective June 16, gatherings of more than 50 people are banned unless there is at least 6 feet between each person. This rule does not apply to critical infrastructure entities, incidental or transitory groupings, or cohabitating individuals.

Drinking and Eating (effective June 16): In restaurants and dining rooms, there is no longer a party maximum for the number of people who can sit together. 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. In a bar, now you can have 50 people — up from 25 — or 35% of total listed fire capacity, whichever is greater. For salad bars and buffets, a worker can use cafeteria-style service to serve patrons or the establishment can provide hand sanitizer, install a sneeze guard, enforce social distancing, and regularly replace shared utensils to allow patron self-service.

Overnight Summer Camps (effective June 16): Campers and workers may not attend an overnight summer camp unless they have received a negative COVID-19 test within twelve days — up from seven days — prior to starting camp.

Conventions: Effective July 1, a “convention” may occur if it meets 21 specific requirements in addition to the requirements for non-critical infrastructure entities. “Convention” means “an organized event of more than 100 persons that are required to register or obtain a license to gather for a common purpose at a single indoor facility or grouping of indoor facilities for more than four hours and in some cases for more than one day” and “shall include exhibitions, trade shows, conferences, and business retreats.” The term “convention” does not include any regular operation of a business that occurs on property owned or leased for the exclusive operation of such business, nor does the term encompass regular religious services, business meetings, sports competitions, or events categorized by O.C.G.A. § 16-11-173(b)(1)(A).

Live Performance Venues: Effective July 1, a “live performance venue” may reopen for business if it complies with specific criteria based on whether it is designated Tier I, II, or III. There are certain exceptions in the order for drive-in performances; private recording sessions, livestream performances, practices, fanless events, and rehearsals; and non-ticketed or free events. “Live Performance Venue” means “any indoor or outdoor location that requires patrons to purchase a license to attend an event featuring live musical, dramatical, automotive, educational, or any other type of entertainment performed before in-person patrons.” The term does not include restaurants and dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, private reception venues, weddings, drive-in venues, or events held as part of a convention, and the term does not include outdoor recreational fields used for amateur sporting events.

Effective June 16: At indoor movie theaters and cinemas, there is no longer a limit on the number of people who may sit together in a party. Walk-ins are now allowed at body art studios, barber shops, hair salons, their respective schools, massage therapy establishments, and tanning facilities subject to specific requirements.

Mandatory requirements for operating non-critical infrastructure businesses, for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations are extended through the end of June. Specific requirements for previously closed businesses remain in effect.


June 1, 2020

The state of Georgia has issued guidance for a number of businesses now allowed to reopen, from bars and nightclubs, summer camps and summer school.

Starting Monday, June 1, bars and nightclubs can reopen if they apply social distancing rules and other required actions spelled out in 39 mandatory measures. These include additional screening of workers, limiting to 25 customers or no more than 35% total occupancy, regular sanitation, only serving drinks to seated patrons, limiting tables to no more than six people, and more.

Live performance venues remain closed under Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order.

Pro sports teams and organizations are allowed to open as of June 1, but must operate by rules and guidelines of their respective sports league. In-person sports must follow guidelines of non-critical organizations.

Summer schools will have to follow a set of 11 mandatory criteria that focus on enhancing campus sanitation, keeping students separated and other actions. Overnight summer camps are allowed if they can meet 33 criteria.

Gatherings, meanwhile, may now have as many as 25 people, up from 10, if 6 feet of space can be maintained between individuals.

Read the entirety of Kemp’s Executive Order 05.28.20.02 here.

Kemp also renewed Georgia’s state of emergency for a third time, extending it by one month, from June 12 to July 12. A copy of Kemp’s executive order extending the state of emergency can be found here.

Shelter-in-place orders for elderly and health-challenged individuals remains in place through June 12, with exceptions for necessary activities.

Churches that choose to restart in-person services were urged by Kemp to follow social distancing and all other previously issued health guidelines.


May 13, 2020

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp expanded Tuesday the expiration date on a number of previously issued provisions while easing several others.

Remaining closed under the order are bars, nightclubs and live event venues. They shall remain closed through May 31 under the executive order, under which most provisions are effective from May 14 until 11:59 p.m. May 31.

Read the 30-page executive order by clicking here.

Here are highlights of how the May 12 executive order affects Georgians:

Restaurants and Other Businesses

Restaurants can expand operations, if they choose, to be able to allow 10 patrons per 300 square feet of public space. In calculating public space, restaurants may count waiting and bar areas, patios and any outdoor eating space, but may not include hallways, restrooms, or spaces closed to patrons. Furthermore, dining tables may now able to accommodate as many as 10 people, up from the previously mandated limit of six people.

For gyms and fitness centers, minor revisions have been made to mandatory criteria to allow for enhanced flexibility, but strict social distancing and sanitation rules still apply across the board.

Any establishment that had been allowed to re-open under previous issued executive order must continue to adhere to previously issued regulations in order to mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19. Mandatory restrictions for sanitation and social distancing remain in place for all non-critical infrastructure businesses, and for recently reopened businesses, industry-specific restrictions remain in place through the end of May.

The General Public

Social distancing should be practiced by all residents and visitors to the state, while refraining from gathering in groups of 10 or more people unless 6 feet of space or more can be maintained between persons.

No businesses, corporations, nonprofits, organization, or county or municipal governments shall allow gatherings of persons. This affects operations of the City of Powder Springs, effectively banning in-person meetings of the City Council and other boards as well as the closure of public spaces.

The wearing of face coverings by people when outside the home remains encouraged.

The previously issued shelter-in-place order for medically fragile and elderly Georgians remains in place until June 12, 2020.

Summer Camps and Daycares

Summer camps are allowed to operate if they are able to meet nearly three dozen measures mandated in the order, while childcare facilities can operate if they meet their own set of standards outlined in the order along with previously issued safety measures that apply to other establishments. These mandates are contained in the executive order, which can be read here.

This new Executive Order increases the number of people allowed in a single classroom of a childcare facility from 10 to 20 people so long as staff-to-children ratios set by the Department of Early Care and Learning are also maintained.

As all of these mandates come from the state, questions regarding them should be directed to the governor’s office and related state offices.

The Office of the Governor, Brian Kemp

  • Constituent Services: 404-656-1776

Georgia Department of Economic Development

  • 404-962-4000
  • 800-255-0056 – For Hearing Impaired

Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency

  • 404-635-7000
  • 800-TRYGEMA (800-879-4362)

For any enforcement issues, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Safety/Georgia State Patrol

  • 404-624-7700


May 1, 2020

The Office of Gov. Brian P. Kemp on Friday released a series of six posters that spell out who must shelter in place through June 12, 2020; basic rules for businesses which were previously closed or remain closed; further details on the large gatherings ban and exceptions to that ban; and minimum criteria businesses must meet in order to continue in-person operations. 

Gov. Brian Kemp Executive Order Poster 1 (Shelter In Place) Released May 1, 2020

Click here to open the six-page PDF containing all six informational posters.


April 30, 2020

Georgia’s statewide shelter-in-place order will end effective 11:59 p.m. Thursday, April 30, for most Georgians, though Gov. Brian Kemp is urging residents to continue to stay home whenever possible.

But Kemp in an executive order signed Thursday extended an existing shelter-in-place order for medically fragile and elderly Georgians until June 12, 2020. It had been set to expire on May 13.

Businesses must still adhere to previously issued “strict social distancing and sanitation rules” through May 13. 

The entirety of Kemp’s order, which extends Georgia’s state of emergency through June 12, can be found here.

April 29, 2020

On Monday, April 27, 2020, Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order that will end as previously scheduled the ban on short-term property rentals at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, April 30.

April 23, 2020

The office of Gov. Brian Kemp  on Thursday evening released a FAQ on his recent executive order allowing certain businesses to reopen, as well as a new executive order detailing  requirements for those businesses that will be allowed to reopen.

FAQ on Gov. Kemp’s April 20, 2020, executive order

Gov. Brian Kemp’s 26-page executive order from April 23, 2020

For barber and cosmetology salons and shops choosing to open on Friday, April 24, the Georgia State Board of Cosmetologists and Barbers has recommended strict guidelines in order to protect the safety of clients and employees:

Safety Guidelines for reopening Barber and Cosmetology Salons (Retrieved April 23 from the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers website)


April 20, 2020

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday announced that a number of business sectors will be allowed to open before the end of April.

The statewide shelter in place order, however, remains active and expires at 11:59 p.m. on April 30 for most Georgians. Residents and visitors to the state are urged everyone to continue to follow state and federal guidance by sheltering in place as often as possible.

Allowed to reopen on Friday, April 24, are gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail-care artists, aestheticians, their respective schools and massage therapists under “Minimum Basic Operations.”

Required measures these businesses will have to implement include, but are not limited to, screening workers for fever and respiratory illnesses, enhancing workplace sanitation, wearing masks and gloves if appropriate, separating workspaces by 6 feet or more, teleworking if possible and implementing staggered shifts. A list of 20 requirements are included in the governor’s executive order, which can be found here and also linked below.

Subject to specific social distancing and sanitation mandates, which will be announced in the coming days by state officials, theaters, private social club and restaurant dine-in services will be allowed to reopen on Monday, April 27.

Remaining closed will be bars, nightclubs, operators of amusement park rides and live performance venues.

Follow this link for the entire executive order: Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order dated April 20, 2020, allowing certain businesses to resume minimum operations, and more (PDF) 

Contact information for the Governor’s office and other state agencies that have jurisdiction and can answer questions from business owners and residents:

The Office of the Governor, Brian Kemp

  • Constituent Services: 404-656-1776

Georgia Department of Economic Development

  • 404-962-4000
  • 800-255-0056 – For Hearing Impaired

Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency

  • 404-635-7000
  • 800-TRYGEMA (800-879-4362)

For any enforcement issues, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Safety/Georgia State Patrol

  • 404-624-7700



April 8, 2020

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp extended the statewide shelter-in-place order through April 30, 2020. All of the provisions of the statewide order will remain in effect. 

An additional order signed by Kemp on April 8 mandates that no vacation rental shall occur in Georgia starting at midnight Wednesday, April 8, through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. The term "vacation rental" means any transaction to lease or license residential property for residential or vacation purposes, facilitated by a third party or broker for 30 days or less between a corporation, partnership, person, or other entity and a private person.

The order does not include hotels, including extended stay hotels, motels, campgrounds, or purely commercial transactions. The order also does not include any vacation rental that has been fully paid and executed or agreed to before 12 a.m. on Thursday, April 9. It also does not apply to leases for property to be used as someone’s primary place of residence.

Contact information for the Governor’s office and state agencies mentioned in the executive orders that have jurisdiction and can answer questions from business owners and residents.  

  • The Office of the Governor, Brian Kemp
    • Constituent Services: 404-656-1776
  • Georgia Department of Economic Development
    • 404-962-4000
    • 800-255-0056 – For Hearing Impaired
  • Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency
    • 404-635-7000
    • 800-TRYGEMA (800-879-4362)
  • For any enforcement issues, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Safety/Georgia State Patrol
    • 404-6247700

Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday, April 3, authorized sheriffs to enforce the provisions of the April 2 Executive Order involving businesses, establishments, for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations and organizations. Click the link below to read in its entirety the order authorizing this.

Gov. Brian Kemp’s Executive Order 04.03.20.01, Authorizing sheriffs to enforce the provisions of Executive Order 04.02.20.01 involving businesses, establishments, for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations (PDF)


All residents and visitors of Georgia are required to shelter in place in their residences from 6 p.m. Friday, April 3, to 11:59 p.m. Thursday, April 30, 2020. “Shelter in place” means remaining in their residences and taking every precaution to limit social interaction to prevent the spread or infection of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

A resident or visitor of Georgia is not required to shelter in place if they are:

  1. Engaging in Essential Services
  2. Working in Critical Infrastructure
  3. Engaging in Minimum Basic Operations
  4. Performing Necessary Travel

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 so long as you maintain at least 6 feet between people who do not live in your household.

You can go to the grocery store, medical appointments and the pharmacy. You can go pick 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 your house in an emergency.

The key takeaway is you need to stay in your house as much as possible, but state officials recognize there are circumstances when you will need to leave. Keep those circumstances rare, consolidate trips as much as possible, and use take-out, curbside pick-up and delivery services whenever possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Necessary Travel means travel required for someone to conduct or participate in Essential Services, Minimum Basic Operations or work for Critical Infrastructure.

The governor’s order supersedes all local ordinances to the extent they conflict and states that no local ordinances can be more restrictive or less restrictive.

At this time, the governor is not deputizing local law enforcement to enforce the statewide order. State law enforcement with P.O.S.T. certification will be charged with enforcement.

Click on the links below to view the entire Executive Order and the state’s Guidance Handout on the Statewide Shelter in Place.

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