safer at home

Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday issued an amended safer-at-home order to be applied statewide.

The order which includes an expanded list of items to reopen will be effective 5 p.m. Monday and will expire 5 p.m. Friday, May 22. 

New updates to this order include:

• Non-work gatherings: Removing 10-person limit. Still required to maintain 6 feet of distance between persons not from same household

• Restaurants, bars, breweries: May open with limited table seating, 6 feet between tables and subject to additional sanitation rules and guidelines

• Athletic facilities such as fitness centers and commercial gyms may open subject to social distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines

• Close-contact service providers such as barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo services may open subject to social distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines

• Beaches open with no limit on gatherings, must maintain 6 feet of separation

“I appreciate the personal sacrifices each of you are making and we must keep our people safe and healthy,” Ivey said in a press conference. “I know the people of Alabama are responding and paying attention and heeding good public safety. Dr. (Scott) Harris and I are comfortable to continue a measured approach.”

Ivey said the national numbers of deaths that occurred nationwide during the past seven weeks is more than what occurred during the 20 years of fighting the Vietnam War.

“The threat of this disease continues to be active and it is deadly,” Ivey said.

More than 400,000 people are unemployed and many are accepting government help for the first time in their lives.

“People are frustrated,” Ivey said. “I care about you. We hear your voices. Today’s order hopefully will begin providing another round of hope.”

Harris said because there is no longer a number associated with gatherings, people are still encouraged to maintain 6-foot distancing to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

This does allow worship services, funerals and weddings to occur because there is no limit to the number of people and each church will have to decide how it chooses to proceed.

“We encourage churches and other houses of worship to look at our website for guidance on what to consider,” Harris said.

Ivey said the governor’s office has a responsibility of looking after the economy’s well being and the health and safety of citizens.

“Because the people of Alabama are vigilant and abiding by the rules, we do believe its OK to expand these orders and provide additional opportunities to go back to work.”