Gov. Brian Kemp's newest executive order, a "shelter in place" directive, will likely have little impact on residents within Savannah city limits — who have already been under a similarly strict order for over a week.
The new statewide shelter in place protocol, revealed this evening, takes effect at 6 p.m. Friday and lasts through April 13.
It will limit Georgians to travel only to and from jobs, and for “essential services."
It allows residents to leave their homes to buy groceries and takeout food, purchase medical equipment or pharmacy products, seek health care, or exercise outside.
It bans all indoor or seated restaurant dining — service is limited to takeout or delivery.
All these restrictions are already in place under Savannah Mayor Van Johnson's order, in effect from March 24.
The state order in some ways will actually loosen Savannah's restrictions, which divide work into "essential" and "non-essential" categories.
The new, superseding state policy instead lists criteria for “minimum basic operations” and “critical infrastructure" for a business to stay open.
Haircare/nail facilities, gyms, fitness centers, theaters, performance venues, bowling alleys, massage therapists, and tattoo/body artists and recreational indoor activities are to close. (Again, most are already closed in the City of Savannah.)
Bars and nightclubs had already been closed by a previous state order, and will remain so.
The new order specifically says that firearms and ammunition stores are NOT to be restricted in operation, and can stay open as per usual if they comply with the same social distancing protocol as other businesses.
All non-prohibited businesses are required to maintain strict social distancing policies and to allow for working remotely whenever possible.
Some Chatham County residents outside Savannah will feel the impact — in some areas, dine-in service has still been available. That will all stop by Friday evening.
See the order here.
The executive order supersedes all local and county measures.