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Kemp further relaxes restrictions on gatherings, lifts shelter-in-place order for most residents over 65

The order, titled "Empowering a Healthy Georgia," goes into effect at 12 a.m. Tuesday, June 16 and lasts until 11:59 p.m. June 30.

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp has issued a new executive order for the state's fight against the coronavirus.

On Thursday, the governor announced that those who are 65 years and older are no longer required to shelter in place, effective immediately, unless they are living in long-term care facilities or if they are medically fragile. 

Anyone who otherwise is medically compromised - including those who have chronic diseases or underlying health conditions is still being asked to stay at home. 

The order, titled "Empowering a Healthy Georgia," goes into effect at 12 a.m. Tuesday, June 16 and lasts until 11:59 p.m. June 30. The governor's office said they will make future announcements when the June 30 deadline gets closer. 

The state's public health emergency remains in effect until July 12.

RELATED: Two and a half weeks after Memorial Day, COVID-19 data ticks back up in Georgia

As part of the same executive order, Kemp allowed even more leeway for pubic gatherings - from movie theaters to live entertainment venues. 

Under the order, there is no longer a limit on the number of people who may sit together in a party at restaurants or in cinemas. Also, walk-ins are now allowed at body art studios, barber shops, hair salons, massage therapy establishments and tanning facilities. 

The executive order also leaves the door open for possible conventions. 

Read the full executive order here.

Here's what else the executive order outlines: 

Gatherings

Effective June 16, gatherings of more than 50 people - up from 25 - are banned unless there is at least six feet between each person. 

Drinking and Eating

Effective June 16, there is no longer a party maximum for the number of people who can sit together in restaurants and dining rooms, and there is no longer a limit on the number of patrons allowed per square foot. 

Workers at restaurants, dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities and private reception venues are only required to wear face coverings when they are interacting with patrons. 

As for bars, they are now allowed to have 50 people – up from 25 – or 35 percent of total listed fire capacity, whichever is greater. 

For salad bars and buffets, a worker can use cafeteria-style service to serve patrons -- or the establishment can provide hand sanitizer, install a sneeze guard, enforce social distancing, and regularly replace shared utensils to allow patron self-service, under the order.

Overnight Summer Camps

Effective June 16, campers and workers may not attend an overnight summer camp unless they have received a negative COVID-19 test within 12 days prior to starting camp.

Conventions

Effective July 1, a “convention” may occur if it meets 21 specific requirements, in addition to the requirements for non-critical infrastructure entities. 

A "convention," under the order, means “an organized event of more than 100 persons that are required to register or obtain a license to gather for a common purpose at a single indoor facility or grouping of indoor facilities for more than four hours and in some cases for more than one day." The order says that the term “convention” does not include any regular operation of a business, nor does it apply to regular religious services, business meetings or sports competitions.

Live Performance Venues

Effective July 1, a “live performance venue” may reopen for business if it complies with specific criteria based on whether it is designated Tier I, II, or III. There are certain exceptions in the order for drive-in performances; private recording sessions, livestream performances, practices, fanless events, and rehearsals; and non-ticketed or free events. 

A “Live Performance Venue” as described by the order means “any indoor or outdoor location that requires patrons to purchase a license to attend an event featuring live musical, dramatical, automotive, educational, or any other type of entertainment performed before in-person patrons.” The term does not include restaurants and dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, private reception venues, weddings, drive-in venues, or events held as part of a convention. The term also does not include outdoor recreational fields used for amateur sporting events.

While the executive order does allow non-critical infrastructure and business more flexibility to re-open to the public, they still must meet certain safety requirements and take certain steps to mitigate the exposure and spread of the virus.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 

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