Summary of Governor Kemp Shelter in Place Executive Order, April 2, 2020

by Chris Hopper with Taylor English Decisions (

April 3, 2020

Effective Period. This Executive Order is effective from 6:00 P.M. on Friday, April 3, 2020, until 11:59P.M. on Monday, April 13, 2020.

Social Distancing. All residents and visitors of the State of Georgia shall practice social distancing and sanitation in accordance with this Order and guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Social Distancing. No business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, organization, or county or municipal government shall allow more than ten (10) persons to be gathered at a single location if such gathering requires persons to stand or to be seated within six (6) feet of any other person. This does not apply to cohabitating persons outside of their homes, family units or roommates residing together in private homes, or entities defined as “Critical Infrastructure” below.

Definition of Single Location. The term “Single Location” shall be interpreted to mean a space where all persons gathered cannot maintain at least six (6) feet of distance between themselves and any other person. The term “single location” shall not include private residences.

Shelter in Place and Exceptions. That all residents and visitors of the State of Georgia are required to shelter in place, within their homes or places of residence, meaning remaining in their place of residence and taking every possible precaution to limit social interaction to prevent the spread or infection of COVID-19 to themselves or any other person.


  • Conducting or participating in Essential Services (defined below);
  • Performing Necessary Travel (defined below);
  • Are engaged in the performance of, or travel to and from, the performance of Minimum Basic Operations (defined below) for a business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, or organization not classified as Critical Infrastructure (defined below); or
  • Are part of the workforce for Critical Infrastructure and are actively engaged in the performance of, or travel to and from, their respective employment.

Essential Services.  That “Essential Services” are limited to the following:

  • Obtaining necessary supplies and services for family or household members, like:
    • Food and supplies for household consumption and use,
    • Medical supplies or medication,
    • Supplies and equipment needed to work from home, and
    • Products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence.
    • Preference should be given to online ordering, home delivery, and curbside pick-up services wherever possible as opposed to in-store shopping
  • Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of family or household members, such as:
    • Seeking medical,
    • Behavioral health, or
    • Emergency services.
  • Engaging in outdoor exercise activities so long as a minimum distance of six (6) feet is maintained during such activities between all persons who are not occupants of the same household or residence.

Necessary Travel. That “Necessary Travel” is limited to such travel as is required to conduct or participate in Essential Services, Minimum Basic Operations, or Critical Infrastructure. 

Minimum Basic Operations. That “Minimum Basic Operations” are limited to:

  • The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of a business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, or organization, provide services, manage inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions. Such minimum necessary activities include remaining open to the public subject to the restrictions of this Order.
  • The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees or volunteers being able to work remotely from their residences or members or patrons being able to participate remotely from their residences.
  • Instances where employees are working outdoors without regular contact with other persons, such as delivery services, contractors, landscape businesses, and agricultural industry services.

Non-Critical Infrastructure Businesses. That all businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations, or organizations that are not Critical Infrastructure shall only engage in Minimum Basic Operations (as described in the paragraph above) from April 3 – 13. Such entities shall implement procedures which mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 among its workforce as listed in the Order.

Critical Infrastructure. The term “Critical Infrastructure” shall refer to businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as “essential critical infrastructure workforce,” in guidance dated March 19, 2020, and revised on March 28, 2020, and those suppliers which provide essential goods and services to the critical infrastructure workforce as well as entities that provide legal services, home hospice, and non-profit corporations or non-profit organizations that offer food distribution or other health or mental health services. The operation of Critical Infrastructure shall not be impeded by county, municipal, or local ordinance.

Critical Infrastructure that continues in-person operation during the effective dates of the Order shall implement procedures which mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 among its workforce as listed in the Order.

Department of Economic Development Guidance. Georgia Department of Economic Development is authorized to issue guidance to any business, corporation, organization, or industry trade group regarding its status as Critical Infrastructure. This guidance shall be in writing and shall be considered a final agency action.

Restaurants and Private Social Clubs and Exceptions. All restaurants and private social clubs shall cease providing dine-in services. Takeout, curbside pick-up, and delivery are permitted.


This does not limit the operation of dine-in services in hospitals, healthcare facilities, nursing homes, or other long-term care facilities; however, if possible, such facilities should offer in-room dining.

Fitness, Entertainment, and Other Public Businesses. That all gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, theaters, live performance venues, operators of amusement rides, body art studios, estheticians, hair designers, licensed massage therapists, and bars or businesses which possess a license to operate as or otherwise meet the definition of “bar,” shall cease in-person operations and shall close to the public until April 13, 2020. 

Visitors - Generally. Persons should not receive visitors except as follows:

  • Visitors providing medical, behavioral health, or emergency services or medical supplies or medication, including home hospice;
  • Visitors providing support for the person to conduct activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living;
  • Visitors providing necessary supplies and services, such as food and supplies for household consumption and use, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence; or
  • Visitors received during end-of-life circumstances.

Visitors – Minimum Distances. To the extent practicable under the circumstances, visitors shall maintain a minimum distance of six (6) feet between themselves and all other occupants of the person’s home or residence. Any visitors visiting for the sole purpose of delivering medication, supplies, or other tangible goods shall, to the extent practicable, deliver such items in a manner that does not require in-person contact or require the deliverer to enter the person’s home or residence.

Visitors –Nursing Homes, Long-Term Care, Etc. The restricted list of visitors for nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, including inpatient hospice, assisted living communities, personal care homes, intermediate care homes, community living arrangements, and community integration homes, will be strictly enforced.

Emergency Exception and Homeless Assistance. There is an exception to any shelter-in-place requirement in the event of an emergency. In such cases, persons are encouraged to leave their homes or residences and shelter in place in accordance with the rules included in this Order at a safe alternate location. Persons experiencing homelessness are urged to obtain shelter and to contact governmental and other entities for assistance.

Enforcement. Certain state departments and agencies are, after providing reasonable notice, authorized to mandate the closure of any business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, or organization not in compliance with this Order for a period not to extend beyond April 13, 2020.

Suspension of Prior Local Ordinances and Orders. Enforcement of all county or city quarantine, shelter in place, or similar ordinances or orders regarding the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 adopted or issued since March 1, 2020 that conflict or differ from the terms of the Order, are suspended.  Also, all counties and cities are barred from adopting any similar ordinance or order except those designed to enforce compliance with the Order.  In other words, the Governor’s new Executive Order supersedes and replaces all county or city orders relating to COVID-19.  

Firearms and Ammunition. The Order cannot be construed to suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of firearms or ammunition, or any related components.

Violations and Penalties. Any person who violates this Order shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Officials enforcing the Order are required to take reasonable steps to provide notice prior to issuing a citation or making an arrest.

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