Alabama begins to open for business

Published 1:50 pm Friday, May 8, 2020

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Restrictions on businesses and government offices announced by Gov. Kay Ivey Friday morning will begin the process of opening Alabama for business.

Ivey held a press briefing at the capitol and announced that effective May 11, new rules are being put in place to allow a safer transition to opening businesses including close-contact providers such as hair salons, barber shops, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons, body art facilities, tattoo services and massage therapy establishments.

Social distancing will be the norm in every setting, with businesses required to not allow clients or person accompanying a client to congregate within six feet of a person from another household.

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For retail establishments, they are still limited to no more than 50 percent of the normal occupancy. The normal occupancy load is determined by the fire marshal and the rate is required to be posted “in a conspicuous place,” and that enough staff must be posted at entrances and exits to enforce the requirement.

Employees of establishments are required to wear facial coverings that cover the nostrils and mouth when providing services within six feet of a client. Likewise, close-contact providers are encouraged to wear gloves and employees providing facial or nail services will be required to wear gloves and use a new pair of gloves for each client.

Restaurants are encouraged to continue takeout and curbside service, however, they will be permitted to seat guests under strict requirements. Parties at tables must be limited to no more than eight and maintain a distance of at least six feet separation between tables, booths or stools. Employees must also wear masks, and self-service drinks, salad bars and buffets are prohibited.

The new order will remain in effect until May 22 and a determination will be made as to whether regulations will be relaxed then.

Nightclubs, bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, theaters, tourist attractions including museums, racetracks, adult entertainment venues, casinos, bingo halls and venues operated by social clubs will remain closed.

Likewise, athletic activities that require participants to be closer than six feet from each other or use shared equipment are still prohibited. Activities on commercial or public playground equipment also remain prohibited.

Beaches are open, however, social distancing must be practiced.

Alabama Department of Public Health Director Dr. Scott Harris also recommends minimizing travel, wearing face coverings around people from other households, washing hands frequently, refraining from touching one’s face, sneezing or coughing into a tissue or the inside of one’s elbow and disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

The order also continues to prohibit non-work gatherings that cannot maintain a constant six-foot distance between persons of different households.

To read the order, CLICK HERE.

To read state-issued Safer at Home Information sheets, click the links below:

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