Ivey loosens restrictions on entertainment venues, athletics, schools, day cares, camps

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Gov. Kay Ivey speaks at a press conference Thursday. (Video capture/Office of Gov. Kay Ivey)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday presented the State’s amended Safer at Home Order, which will go into effect Friday, May 22 at 5 p.m. Ivey, along with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, continued loosening restrictions, specifically related to entertainment venues (e.g. arcades, theaters, bowling alleys), athletic activities, schools, day care facilities and summer camps.

“It’s not realistic to think we’re going to be able to keep everyone totally isolated from each other forever,” Ivey said before outlining the amended order. “To that end, effective Friday, May 22 at 5 p.m. and running through July 3, we’re going to expand the number of businesses that will be allowed to re-open, while maintaining a 6-foot distance and by adding an extra layer or two of prevention and precaution on those who own these businesses, as well as those who frequent these businesses.”

Ivey continued, “It takes all of us being vigilant and adhering to these social distancing guidelines in order to stop the spread of this disease…If we start going in the wrong direction, then we reserve the right to come back in and reverse course.”

See Ivey’s full remarks at https://bit.ly/2Zq9VVP.

Below are the specific details of the changes to the Safer at Home Order:

Entertainment venues may open May 22 at 5 p.m., subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines. Must comply with the following rules:

Social distancing:

  • Employees shall not knowingly allow patrons or guests to congregate within 6 feet of a person from another
  • Employees shall take reasonable steps to prevent people from congregating in lobby areas, break rooms and other common

 

Emergency maximum occupancy rate. Indoor and enclosed entertainment venues shall limit occupancy to 50% of the normal occupancy load as determined by the fire marshal. Outdoor venues or those not assigned a normal occupancy load by the fire marshal shall limit occupancy as required to comply with the social distancing requirements of this paragraph.

Facial coverings. Each employee shall wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times while in regular interaction with clients or guests.

Sanitation. An entertainment venue shall take reasonable steps, where practicable, to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.

“Entertainment venues” include bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing centers, tourist attractions (including museums and planetariums), race tracks, commercial or public playgrounds, adult entertainment venues, casinos and bingo halls.

“Entertainment venues” do not include playgrounds operated by educational institutions and child day care facilities. They also do not include night clubs.

Entertainment venues are strongly encouraged to read and implement the Alabama Department of Public Health’s “Guidelines for Entertainment Venues and Tourist Attractions,” available at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/assets/cov-sah-entertainment-tourist.pdf.

Athletic Activities. Practice allowed May 23; competition allowed June 15, subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines. Persons attending or participating in athletic activities shall comply with the following rules:

Permitted team activities. From May 22, 2020 at 5 p.m. until June 14, 2020, participation in team athletic activities is limited to practices that involve conditioning, skill drills and similar activities, subject to the rules of this paragraph. Beginning June 15, 2020, participation in team athletic activities may proceed in any respect subject to the rules of this paragraph.

Social distancing:

  • Players, coaches, officials, and spectators shall not congregate within 6 feet of a person from another household except to the extent necessary—and only to the extent necessary—for players, coaches, and officials to directly participate in the athletic
  • Players, coaches, officials, and spectators shall refrain from high fives, handshakes, and other physical contact except to the extent necessary—and only to the extent necessary—for players, coaches, and officials to directly participate in the athletic

 

Facial coverings. Players, coaches, and officials shall wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times except when a player or official is directly participating in the athletic activity.

Sanitation. Players, coaches, and officials shall not share water coolers, drinking stations, water bottles, cups, or other drinking devices. Organizers of athletic activities shall take reasonable steps, where practicable, to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.

“Athletic activities” means “sports that involve interaction with another person of closer than 6 feet” and “activities that require use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment.”

Persons attending or participating in athletic activities are strongly encouraged to comply with any guidelines adopted by the relevant governing organization, if one exists for the athletic activity in question.

Organizers of athletic activities are strongly encouraged to read and implement the Alabama Department of Public Health’s “Guidelines for Adult and Youth Athletic Activities,” available at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/assets/cov-sah-athletic- activities.pdf.

Educational institutions may open effective June 1, 2020, subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines.  All schools, public and private— including elementary, secondary, postsecondary, technical, and specialty schools, and colleges and universities—shall comply with the following rules:

Social distancing. Schools shall take reasonable steps, where practicable, to maintain 6feet of separation between persons of different households.

Sanitation. Schools shall take reasonable steps, where practicable, to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.

Facial coverings. Employees shall, to the greatest extent practicable, wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times when in regular interaction within 6 feet of a person from a different household.

Educational institutions are strongly encouraged to adopt and implement additional measures to supplement these minimum rules. Guidance applicable to public K-12 schools is available at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/assets/adoe-school-sponsored-activities.pdf.

Child day care facilities may open effective May 23, 2020 at 5 p.m., subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines. Facilities providing child day care, including any child day care facility described in Ala. Code § 38-7-2, shall comply with the following rules:

Social distancing. Employees shall not knowingly allow parents or other guests to congregate within 6 feet of a person from another household. Facilities shall also take reasonable steps to prevent parents or other guests from congregating in lobby areas, cafeterias, and other common areas.

Sanitation. Child day care facilities shall take reasonable steps, where practicable, to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.

Facial coverings. Each employee shall wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times while in regular interaction with students or guests.

Child day care facilities are strongly encouraged to read and implement the Alabama Department of Public Health’s “Guidelines for Child Day Care Facilities,” available at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/assets/cov-sah-childcare-facilities.pdf.

Camps may open effective May 23, 2020, subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines. Day and overnight youth summer camps shall comply with the following rules:

Social distancing.

  • Employees shall not knowingly allow campers or guests to congregate within 6 feet of a person from another
  • Employees shall not knowingly allow campers or guests to participate in athletic activities in violation of this paragraph

 

Sanitation. Camps shall take reasonable steps where practicable, to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.

Facial coverings. Employees shall, to the greatest extent practicable, wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times when in regular interaction with campers and guests.

Day and overnight youth summer camps are strongly encouraged to read and implement the Alabama Department of Public Health’s “Guidelines for Day and Overnight Youth Summer Camps,” available at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/assets/cov-sah-youth-camps.pdf.

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Wendy Sack

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