Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp gives a thumbs-up to supporters, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Following closely on the heels of South Carolina, whose Governor announced over the weekend mitigated opening procedures for some businesses in the state to begin this week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced Monday that businesses such as salons, restaurants, and gyms can begin opening as soon as Friday in Georgia, with more openings to come next week.
Kemp said Monday that his state would expand COVID-19 testing and that hospitals were in a position to resume elective surgeries after securing necessary protective personal equipment.
“Given the favorable data, enhanced 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 this Friday,” Kemp said.
Due to favorable data & more testing, gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians, their respective schools & massage therapists can reopen Friday, April 24 with Minimum Basic Operations. #gapol
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 20, 2020
Gov. Brian Kemp: "We will allow gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, aestheticians, their respective schools, and massage therapists to reopen their doors this Friday, April the 24th." pic.twitter.com/QxRbxxB1Da
— The Hill (@thehill) April 20, 2020
Bars will remain closed until further notice but inside dining at restaurants and movie theater operations will begin phasing in April 27.
“By taking this measured action, we will get Georgians back to work safely, without undermining the progress we all have made in this battle against COVID-19,” Kemp said. “Today’s announcement is a small step forward and should be treated as such.”
A list of guidelines businesses must follow was posted on twitter following Kemp’s announcement:
— Jon Shirek (@JonShirek) April 20, 2020
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, echoing others who question the timing of the Governor’s decision, has issued a suggestion the people residing in Atlanta should defy reopening measures and stay home.
Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is urging all Atlantans to stay at home despite Governor Kemp’s decision. pic.twitter.com/lvBKrJLcxJ
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) April 20, 2020