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Kemp: Shelter-in-place to expire Thursday night; other current restrictions remain in place

In a move which won't change the status quo very much, Ga. Gov. Brian Kemp today declined to extend his shelter-in-place order past tonight's 11:59 p.m. expiration.

He was widely expected to allow it to expire, based on previous remarks this week.

This means Georgians are free to travel without the distinction of essential vs. non-essential travel.

However, mandates on business reopenings stay in place, with the existing patchwork of social distancing and hygiene requirements for restaurant dine-in service, hair and nail care, tattoo shops, massage therapists, and bowling alleys.

"In accordance with our executive orders, businesses across the Peach State must continue to operate with strict social distancing and sanitation rules to keep customers and employees safe through May 13, 2020. Those rules vary by business type for a measured, health-driven approach," he said.

Bars, performance venues, swimming pools, and amusement facilities other than bowling alleys must remain closed.

Kemp extended the public health state of emergency through June 12.

"I will formally extend our public health state of emergency through June 12, 2020 to continue enhanced testing across Georgia, ramp up contact tracing, and maintain effective emergency response operations in every region," he said.

One facet of this and other orders from Kemp is that local governments are still prohibited from setting rules which are either more or less restrictive than the ones from the governor's office.

Several large malls and retailers in Georgia, such as Macy's, have already announced they will reopen to the public for what amounts to business as usual next week.