Georgia governor to reopen some businesses this week
GEORGIA- Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday that some businesses in the state would be able to reopen this week as a "small step forward" out of social distancing to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kemp said fitness centers, bowling alleys, art studios, barbers, hair and nail salons, and massage therapy businesses can reopen as early as Friday, April 24.
Movie theaters and restaurants will be allowed to open on Monday, April 27, however, bars and nightclubs will remain closed for now, CNN reports.
No local ordinance can restrict the openings, which will be implemented statewide.
"In the same way that we carefully closed businesses and urged operations to end to mitigate the virus' spread, today we're announcing plans to incrementally and safely reopen sectors of our economy," Kemp said.
Similar decisions have been made from governors of South Carolina and Tennessee after President Donald Trump unveiled new guidelines last week to begin the process of loosening social distancing restrictions.
"You are going to call your own shots," Trump had said in a conference call Thursday with governors. "I've gotten to know almost all of you, most of you I've known and some very well. You are all very capable people, I think in all cases, very capable people. And you're going to be calling your shots."
With the White House's guidance, Kemp said, "We appreciate their leadership and share in the President's desire to reopen the economy and get Americans back to work."
"As a small business person for over thirty years, I know the impact of this pandemic on hardworking Georgians in every zip code and every community," Kemp continued.
While the governor's incremental re-openings align with the President's advice, public health experts have repeatedly stressed the dangers of relaxing social distancing measures too early.
The nation's top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said, "You don't make the timeline the virus makes the timeline."
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