Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina Governors Announce Plans to Reopen Businesses

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Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina Governors Announce Plans to Reopen Businesses

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The governors of Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina on April 20 announced their plans to ease restrictions on some business closings in an effort bring their states’ economies closer to normal. These decisions are being made because there are signs that the coronavirus outbreak is slowing.

In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp named gyms and hair salons as being among the businesses that will be allowed to reopen on April 24. The reopening will be done in stages, however, and will be subject to certain conditions. Theaters, private social clubs, and restaurants will be allowed to reopen April 27.

“These businesses will open according to specific guidance that we will provide in accordance with state and national experts in both medicine and business,” said Lee. “Social distancing works, and as we open up our economy it will be more important than ever that we keep social distancing as lives and livelihoods depend on it.”

“Given the favorable data, enhanced [COVID-19] testing, and approval of our healthcare professionals, we will allow gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians, their respective schools, and massage therapists, to reopen their doors [on April 24],” Kemp said in a statement.

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee said he is not extending the state’s “Safer at Home Order,” past April 30, a decisions he said will allow the “vast majority” of businesses in 89 of the state’s 95 counties to reopen on May 1. However, restrictions will continue in Shelby (Memphis), Madison (Jackson), Davidson (Nashville), Hamilton (Chattanooga), Knox (Knoxville), and Sullivan (Blountville) counties. (County seats in parentheses.) However, Lee said he is working on plans to safely reopen those areas, as well.

“While I am not extending the safer at home order past the end of April, we are working directly with our major metropolitan areas to ensure they are in a position to reopen as soon and safely as possible,” Lee said.

In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster issued a new executive order on April 20 that allows the reopening of some retail stores. Among other things, the order removes restrictions on public access points to the state’s beaches, public piers, docks, and wharfs, while delegating to local officials the authority to restrict access, as they see fit. This order also re-opens retail stores that were closed pursuant to an earlier executive order and allows other businesses to be reopened, including department stores; furniture, clothing, shoe, jewelry, luggage, sporting goods, book, craft, and music stores; flea markets; and florists.

As we noted in an article on April 14, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the previous day: “Later this week I will outline both safe and healthy strategies where we can begin the process of going about reopening businesses in Texas and revitalizing our economy.”

Warren Mass has served The New American since its launch in 1985 in several capacities, including marketing, editing, and writing. Since retiring from the staff several years ago, he has been a regular contributor to the magazine. Warren writes from Texas and can be reached at [email protected].

Courtesy of The New American