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Shelter-at-home order given for City of Savannah; restaurants takeout only, non-essential travel prohibited
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Savannah Mayor Van Johnson this morning passed a shelter-at-home order, prohibiting all non-essential business and non-essential travel.

Dine-in restaurant services will be prohibited and restaurants will be limited to takeout only.

"If you're not working and you're not shopping for groceries, please stay home," Mayor Johnson said. "All travel except for essential travel is prohibited."

In addition, private gatherings outside of the members of a single household are prohibited.

The order goes into effect midnight tonight and stays in effect until April 8 or later if City Council orders.

Parks and squares will remain open for exercise purposes, but social distancing requirements should be followed. Tennis/basketball facilities must close.

"For better or worse this is our reality for the next couple of weeks. The only way to stem the threat is to remain at home as much as possible," he said.

Essential businesses include healthcare, grocery stores, media, gas stations, shipping services, social services, laundry, home care, residential and daycare facilities for seniors and children, professional services such as legal and accounting, restaurants (but only for delivery and carryout).

Hair and nail care can stay open, but with social distancing rules.

Liquor stores ARE considered essential businesses; many other cities instituting COVID-19 restrictions also put them in the essential category. This keeps those with addictions from going into sudden withdrawal and further challenging the healthcare system.

Private construction projects with a current permit can continue.

About Ga. Gov. Brian Kemp's executive order yesterday, the Mayor said "I don't feel it goes far enough."

But, "we're not shutting the city down," he said, "we're asking you to rediscover your home."

The order only applies to activities within the City of Savannah.