ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statewide stay-at-home order yesterday that will take effect this evening, April 3, at 6 p.m. The order requires residents to shelter in place but there are a number of exceptions for certain activities.
One thing that's important to remember is that without exception, whenever you leave your home the six-feet separation required by social distancing guidelines remains in place.
Keeping that in mind, here are some specific things still allowed under the governor's order:
- Church: In a "Commonly Asked Questions" addendum included with Kemp's order, the governor's office reiterates the requirement that no organization of any kind is "allowed to have more than 10 people gathering in a single location unless there is at least six feet between each person at all times." It adds: "This rule applies to church services and funeral services," meaning, if social distancing can be maintained, they're allowed. The governor's office does however stress: "Unfortunately, several community outbreaks can be directly attributed to recent, in-person church services and funeral services. Public health officials strongly discourage gatherings of people for these services due to the high risk of transmission of novel coronavirus."
- Funeral services: See above.
- Golf: In the same "Commonly Asked Questions" document, the governor's office explicitly states that, yes, outdoor sports activities, including golf, remain allowed provided there is at least six feet between people.
- Visit state parks: Similar to the outdoor sports activities provision, state parks remain open and you can visit them to the extent you can maintain a six-foot distance from others. "If people congregate in certain areas of a state park or golf course, for example, law enforcement will warn them to disband," the document says. "If they fail to comply, they may face criminal charges."
- Buy a gun: The governor's order explicitly states, "nothing in this Order shall be construed to suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of firearms or ammunition, or any component thereof."
- Buy beer (and other alcohol): While the order specifically bars a number of types of businesses from operation and specifically names a number of permitted types of essential reasons to leave your home (more on this in a second), there still exists a wide middle ground of unnamed businesses. Liquor stores and the brewpubs/breweries offering to-go fills of growlers and the like fall into that category. The governor's press office said this about such businesses: "If a business is not explicitly mentioned in the order as one that has to close to the public, it has to abide by the Minimum Basic Operations portion of the executive order." You can read the Minimum Basic Operations requirements below (they are strict, and lengthy):
- Buy groceries
- Go to medical appointments
- Go to the pharmacy
- Pick up food
- Buy supplies to clean and maintain your house
- Exercise outside
- Leave in an emergency: All of the above are explicitly mentioned in the governor's addendum.
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