The Latest Information from Savannah During COVID-19
Chatham County Mask Mandate: Chatham County Board of Commission Chairman Al Scott issued a County-wide State of Emergency that orders all persons wear a mask or face covering in public spaces to include commercial establishments, public places, government buildings, and any time people gather in groups of 10 or more. Masks or face coverings are required to properly cover the nose and mouth.
City of Savannah Mask Mandate: Mayor Van R. Johnson, II, signed an emergency order requiring the public to wear masks or face coverings within the City of Savannah. The order will remain in effect until May 6, 2021. Click here for more information on the mandate.
State of Georgia Executive Order 03.31.21.03: (Effective April 8 through April 30, 2021) Eliminates the gatherings ban and Shelter-in-Place requirements. Removes the critical infrastructure distinction and collapses all organization suggested measures into one main list, with a small number of additional industry-specific requirements remaining. Reduces any remaining distance requirements (i.e. distance between parties at restaurants, bars and movie theaters, and between patrons of group fitness classes). Eliminates the ability of law enforcement to close an organization for failure to comply with the Executive Order provisions. Click here for more information on the executive order.
Drinking and Eating: In restaurants and dining rooms, there is no longer a party maximum for the number of people who can sit together. There is no longer a limit on the number of patrons allowed per square foot. Workers at restaurants, dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, and private reception venues are only required to wear face coverings when they are interacting with patrons. In a bar, now you can have fifty people – up from twenty-five – or thirty-five percent of total listed fire capacity, whichever is greater. For salad bars and buffets, a worker can use cafeteria-style service to serve patrons or the establishment can provide hand sanitizer, install a sneeze guard, enforce social distancing, and regularly replace shared utensils to allow patron self-service.
Conventions: A “convention” may occur if it meets twenty-one specific requirements in addition to the requirements for non-critical infrastructure entities. “Convention” means “an organized event of more than 100 persons that are required to register or obtain a license to gather for a common purpose at a single indoor facility or grouping of indoor facilities for more than four hours and in some cases for more than one day” and “shall include exhibitions, trade shows, conferences, and business retreats.” The term “convention” does not include any regular operation of a business that occurs on property owned or leased for the exclusive operation of such business, nor does the term encompass regular religious services, business meetings, sports competitions, or events categorized by O.C.G.A. § 16-11-173(b)(1)(A).
Live Performance Venues: A “live performance venue” may reopen for business if it complies with specific criteria based on whether it is designated Tier I, II, or III. There are certain exceptions in the order for drive-in performances; private recording sessions, livestream performances, practices, fanless events, and rehearsals; and non-ticketed or free events. “Live Performance Venue” means “any indoor or outdoor location that requires patrons to purchase a license to attend an event featuring live musical, dramatical, automotive, educational, or any other type of entertainment performed before in-person patrons.” The term does not include restaurants and dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, private reception venues, weddings, drive-in venues, or events held as part of a convention, and the term does not include outdoor recreational fields used for amateur sporting events.
Indoor Movie Theaters and Cinemas: There is no longer a limit on the number of people who may sit together in a party. Walk-ins are now allowed at body art studios, barber shops, hair salons, their respective schools, massage therapy establishments, and tanning facilities subject to specific requirements.
Sports: Professional sports teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by their respective leagues. High school and collegiate teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by their applicable conferences or associations. Amateur sports teams and organizations must follow the criteria for non-critical infrastructure entities outlined in the order.
Gatherings: Gatherings of more than fifty people are banned unless there is at least six feet between each person. This rule does not apply to critical infrastructure entities, incidental or transitory groupings, or cohabitating individuals.
Overnight Summer Camps: Campers and workers may not attend an overnight summer camp unless they have received a negative COVID-19 test within twelve days – up from seven days – prior to starting camp.
Mandatory requirements for operating non-critical infrastructure businesses, for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations are extended through the end of the month. Specific requirements for previously closed businesses remain in effect.