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Coronavirus lockdown: Georgia to reopen gyms, barbers and other small businesses this Friday


Coronavirus lockdown: Georgia to reopen gyms, barbers and other small businesses this Friday 1

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has outlined plans to allow some businesses closed as a response to the coronavirus pandemic to reopen as soon as Friday, 24 April.

He will sign an order that will allow the state’s gyms, bowling alleys, barbers and salons to resume operations as long as they adhere to social distancing requirements.

Restaurants, theatres and private social clubs will be allowed to reopen on Monday, 27 April, if they also meet those standards.


Bars, nightclubs, amusement parks and performance venues will remain shuttered.

On Twitter, the governor said: “Due to favourable data & more testing, gyms, fitness centres, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, aestheticians, their respective schools & massage therapists can reopen Friday, April 24 with Minimum Basic Operations.”

He added: “Minimum Basic Operations includes, but is not limited to, screening workers for fever and respiratory illness, enhancing workplace sanitation, wearing masks & gloves if appropriate, separating workspaces by six feet, teleworking if possible & implementing staggered shifts.”

The shelter in place order remains active until 11:59pm on 30 April for most Georgians.

It was only at the beginning of April that Governor Kemp said that he realised that asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus could occur. A fact that had been public knowledge since the end of January.

He said at the time: “Finding out that this virus is now transmitting before people see signs, so what we’ve been telling people from directives from the [Centres for Disease Control and Prevention] for weeks now that if you start feeling bad, stay home… those individuals could’ve been infecting people before they ever felt bad. But we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours… This is a game-changer for us.”

While some states have begun to ease up restrictions on public parks, beaches, construction, online car sales, and curb-side pick ups of goods, Georgia is the first state to announce the reopening of whole business sectors.

Earlier on Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced that his state’s stay-at-home order will expire on 30 April, and the vast majority of businesses will be allowed to re-open on 1 May.

Mr Lee said that the state’s Economic Recovery Group was working around the clock to establish guidelines under which businesses could reopen safely.

There are 18,391 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia and 687 recorded deaths. Tennessee has 6,762 confirmed cases and 145 recorded deaths.


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