Georgia governor Brian Kemp announced Monday afternoon that several small businesses in the state, including commercial gyms and fitness centers, would be allowed to end their current coronavirus shutdown and reopen under certain conditions beginning Friday.
Gyms and fitness centers are joined on Kemp's list by bowling alleys, barbers, hair dressers, nail salons, body art studios and massage therapists.
As reported by Fox 5 Atlanta, Kemp said the reopening of these businesses "would not be business-as-usual" and would require companies to implement changes to ensure sanitation mandates and social distancing.
"Georgians who are small business owners, those people have good common sense and we're trusting them to use it, but if they abuse it, we will take further action," Kemp said. "But I believe they can do it as part of this measured approach."
Current White House criteria to reopen America include three phases, and Kemp said Monday, a day when more than 1,200 new coronavirus cases were reported in Georgia, that the state was "on track to meet the criteria for Phase One” by having adequate testing, hospital capacity and contact tracing of the virus. He said the state would be partnering with the Georgia Health system to "double down" on testing capacity.
"Testing defines the battlefield and aids our long-term strategy," Kemp said, adding that the National Guard would be working with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to help with testing thousands of Georgians.
The governor also said that movie theaters and restaurants would be allowed to reopen on Monday, April 27 with certain restrictions to be announced later this week. That delay would allow Georgia more time to flatten the curve and allow the businesses to prepare to be ready to open. Meanwhile, bars, nightclubs and amusement parks would remain closed until further notice, the governor said.
Do you think Georgia's reopening of fitness facilities this week is a good idea? https://t.co/iAtWamOeYk— Athletic Business (@AthleticBiz) April 21, 2020