Georgia governor Brian Kemp releases shelter-in-place order details

ATLANTA (41NBC/WMGT) – Georgia governor Brian Kemp released the full text of his shelter-in-place order Thursday afternoon, which goes into effect at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and will last through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 13.

The order, announced Wednesday and signed by the governor at 3:12 p.m. Thursday, says all residents and visitors of Georgia are required to shelter in place within their homes or places of residence, “meaning remaining in their place of residence and taking every possible precaution to limit social interaction to prevent the spread or infection of COVID-19 to themselves or any other person, unless they are:

  • Conducting or participating in Essential Services (see definition below)
  • Performing necessary travel
  • Are engaged in the performance of, or travel to and from, the performance of minimum basic operations for a business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, or organization not classified as Critical Infrastructure (see bold text/link below); or
  • Are part of the workforce for Critical Infrastructure (see bold text/link below) and are actively engaged in the performance of, or travel to and from, their respective employment.”


Essential Services are defined as:

  • Obtaining necessary supplies and services for family or household members, such as food and supplies for household consumption and use, medical supplies or medication, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence. Preference should be given to online ordering, home delivery, and curbside pick-up services wherever possible as opposed to in-store shopping.
  • Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of family or household members, such as seeking medical, behavioral health, or emergency services.
  • Engaging in outdoor exercise activities so long as a minimum of six (6) feet is maintained during such activities between all persons who are not occupants of the same household or residence.

The order says all businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations, or organizations that are not “Critical Infrastructure” (see bold text/link below) shall only engage in minimum basic operations and should also take measures to mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 among their workforce.

“Critical Infrastructure” refers to businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations and organizations as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as “essential critical infrastructure workforce,” and also those suppliers which provide essential goods and services to the critical infrastructure workforce as well as entities that provide legal services, home hospice and non-profit corporations or non-profit organizations that offer food distribution or other health or mental health services.


Businesses ordered to cease operations:

All restaurants and private social clubs are barred from providing dine-in services, but takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery are permitted “in accordance with the provisions of this Order.” Dine-in service at hospitals, healthcare facilities, nursing homes or other long-term care facilities is not limited; however, “to the extent possible, such facilities should offer in-room dining.”

All bars, nightclubs, gyms, fitness centers, bowling allies, theaters, live performance venues, operators of amusement parks, estheticians (e.g. waxing, threading, eyelash extensions, cosmetic treatments), hair designers, body art studios (commonly known as tattoo parlors), beauty shops and salons (including home beauty shops and salons), cosmetology schools, hair design schools, barbering schools, esthetics schools, nail care salons and licensed massage therapists must cease in-person operations and close to the public.


Can I have visitors?

People required to shelter in place “under any provision of this Order” shall not receive visitors, except as follows:

1) Visitors providing medical, behavioral health, or emergency services or medical supplies or medication, including home hospice;
2) Visitors providing support for the person to conduct activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living;
3) Visitors providing necessary supplies and services, such as food and supplies for household consumption and use, supplies and equipment to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence; or
4) Visitors received during end-of-life circumstances.

Visitors shall maintain a minimum distance of six (6) feet between themselves and all other occupants of the person’s home or residence “to the extent practicable under the circumstances,” and any visitor visiting for the sole purpose of delivering medication, supplies or other tangible goods shall deliver such items in a manner that does not require in-person contact or require the deliverer to enter the person’s home or residence.


How are custodial arrangements affected?

The governor released an additional order ( Friday clarifying this. It says no provision of the shelter-in-place order shall limit, infringe, suspend or supplant any judicial judgment or decree, including custodial arrangements. “Nor shall any person use any provision of Executive Order (the shelter-in-place order) as a defense to an action in violation of a judicial order, judgment, custodial arrangement or decree by any court.”


Are religious services allowed?

The order itself does not specifically mention religious services, but a separate handout from the governor’s office, which offers additional guidance and FAQ, says religious services are allowed as long as no more than 10 people are present and at least a 6-foot distance is maintained by all people at all times. This rule applies to both church and funeral services.

“Unfortunately, several community outbreaks can be directly attributed to recent, in-person church services and funeral services.”


What do I do in case of an emergency (i.e. severe weather)?

You are encouraged to leave your home and shelter in place “with the rules included in this Order” at a safe alternate location. “People experiencing homelessness are urged to obtain shelter and to contact governmental and other entities for assistance.”


Can I visit state parks? What about golfing, hunting or fishing?

Yes. The additional guidance and FAQ page from the governor’s office says you may participate in these activities as long as you maintain a 6-foot distance from others and avoid groups of 10 or more.


What about firearm sales?

The order also says “that nothing in this Order shall be construed to suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of firearms or ammunition, or any component thereof.”


What if my county or city has different rules in place?

The governor’s order says the powers of counties and cities “are hereby suspended to the extent of suspending enforcement of any local ordinance or order adopted or issued since March 1, 2020, with the stated purpose or effect of responding to the public health state of emergency, ordering residents to shelter-in-place, ordering a quarantine, or combating the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19 that in any way conflicts varies, or differs from the terms of this order.”


Is there a statewide curfew?



Will I be ticketed or arrested for violating the order?

The order says any person found in violation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

“Officials enforcing this Order should take reasonable steps to provide notice prior to issuing a citation or making an arrest,” the order says.

The governor has deputized local sheriff’s offices to enforce the order.

The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said Friday its role would be to first educate the public about the order and that its deputies would not stop people to ask if they were conducting essential business.


Where is the full governor’s order?

Click here to read the order in its entirety.

Click here for additional guidance and frequently asked questions regarding the order.

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