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In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
Atlanta is reverting back to Phase I of the City’s five-phase reopening plan, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s office confirmed in an email to What Now Atlanta (WNA) Friday.
Under Phase 1, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is asking citizens to stay at home and for non-essential businesses to temporarily close again with the exception of curbside services.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has fully reopened the state and has made no plans to revisit a lockdown or ask non-essential businesses to close down again, calling Bottoms’ guidelines “confusing” Friday.
“Mayor Bottoms’ action today is merely guidance—both non-binding and legally unenforceable,” Kemp’s office said in a press release Friday. “As clearly stated in the Governor’s executive order, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide. Once again, if the Mayor actually wants to flatten the curve in Atlanta, she should start enforcing state restrictions, which she has failed to do. We ask citizens and businesses alike to comply with the terms of the Governor’s order, which was crafted in conjunction with state public health officials. These common-sense measures will help protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”
However, the mask ordinance Mayor Bottoms issued on Wednesday is enforceable, the spokesperson for the Mayor’s office said.
[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]