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Gov. Kemp eliminates social distancing, mask mandates in new executive order

Governor Brian Kemp
Posted at 5:27 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 17:27:50-04

ATLANTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed three new executive orders Wednesday, all of them dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The biggest changes come in the third of the governor's three orders, with sweeping changes to the social distancing guidelines, mask mandates and gatherings ban.

Executive Order 03.21.21.01:

  • Extends Georgia's Public Health State of Emergency through April 30, 2021

Executive Order 03.21.21.02:

  • Extends current COVID-19 guidance through April 7, 2021
  • Provides a mechanism for allowing state agency employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine without using sick leave or annual leave

Executive Order 03.21.21.03:

  • Will become effective April 8 through April 30, 2021
  • Eliminates the Gatherings ban
  • Eliminates 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

The latter of the three orders also states, "From April 8, 2021, at 12 a.m. until April 30, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. 'shall practice social distancing' and are encouraged to wear masks in public and practice sanitation, but not required to do so."

All three of the orders can be read in full by clicking here.