Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an govt order Thursday that blocks native governments from mandating COVID-19 restrictions on companies.
Personal sector companies and sports activities groups can observe native COVID-19 necessities in the event that they selected, however Kemp’s order stops them from being required to take action.
Kemp mentioned the order is geared toward defending companies and the state’s financial restoration.
“Native governments will be unable to pressure companies to be town’s masks police, the vaccine police or every other burdensome restriction that can solely result in workers being let go, income tanking and companies closing their doorways,” Kemp mentioned throughout Thursday a information briefing on the state Capitol.
Kemp, a longtime enterprise proprietor, has been advocating in opposition to enterprise shutdowns and masks mandates over the previous a number of months. Savannah and Atlanta just lately reinstated their masks mandates in response to an increase in COVID-19 circumstances. Kemp mentioned the ordinances harm small companies, and he trusts enterprise homeowners to implement prevention measures that work finest for them. He offers companies that flexibility in his present order.
The order additionally bars native governments from enacting “roughly restrictive” orders than his present COVID-19 orders. Legislation enforcement companies or native governments will not be allowed to close down companies for not following preventative measures.
“The very fact is that small companies throughout our state shouldn’t be punished by native governments, simply because they’re making an attempt to make a residing, pay their workers and save their livelihoods,” Kemp mentioned.
Information reveals 7,051 new COVID-19 circumstances, 46 associated deaths and 203 associated hospitalizations have been reported by the Georgia Division of Public Well being on Thursday. Georgia’s hospitals are at 86.4% capability.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms referred to Kemp as “The present that retains giving” in a tweet Thursday. Kemp and Bottoms have confronted off previously over Atlanta’s masks mandate.
Kemp filed and later dropped a lawsuit final summer season in opposition to Bottoms and the Atlanta Metropolis Council over town’s mask-wearing mandate and their failure to implement his govt orders.
Kemp mentioned in his order Thursday “the governor has final authority over the state’s emergency administration procedures, as a result of whereas different companies and political subdivisions of the state could also be directed or approved to develop and implement emergency administration plans, guidelines and rules,” Georgia regulation “clearly gives that no such guidelines and rules or order could also be inconsistent with the governor’s personal emergency administration directives.”
A spokesperson for the Affiliation County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) mentioned the group was reviewing Kemp’s order and couldn’t touch upon its contents.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce didn’t instantly reply Thursday to a request for remark.