Amended Safer at Home Order reopens restaurants, salons, gyms, and more

Proceeding with caution

Last Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey amended the statewide Safer at Home Order allowing restaurants, gyms, barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, and other job providers to resume operations.

“Let me first take a moment to say a special word of thanks to each and every Alabamian,” Ivey said during the press conference. “I know this has been tough on you; it hasn’t been a joy ride for us either. I so appreciate the personal sacrifices you’ve made to keep yourself and others healthy.

“On May 15, our current Safer at Home Order is set to expire. However, today I am announcing that we are amending and expanding the list of what reopens under the Safer at Home Order.”

The amended order lifts the ban on group sizes of 10 or more, although individuals must still maintain a six-foot distance between others. This opens the doors for churches to begin gathering again.

On Monday, restaurants and bars could reopen as long as they limit the party size to no more than eight people and maintain six feet between people seated at different tables, booths, chairs, and stools. The order prohibits self-service drink stations, buffets, and salad bars.

Commercial gyms, spas, yoga, barre, and spin facilities were allowed to open their doors again Monday as long as they comply with social distancing guidelines and have proper hygiene measures in place. Occupancy is limited to 50 percent capacity and employees must wear masks.

Celebrated by many across the state is the long-awaited reopening of those close-contact providers such as salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and nail salons.

And for those looking to get out of town for a few days, the updated order eliminates the gathering size limits for Alabama’s beaches as long as people maintain a six-foot distance between people from other households.

“Today’s order will hopefully provide another round of hope for all of us,” Ivey said. The new order will remain in place until May 22.

Officials, however, remind everyone to proceed with caution, limit travel outside their homes as much as possible, and wear masks when they are out in public. What’s not changing

Daycare facilities are still limited to 12 children or less per room.

Retail stores must maintain their 50 percent occupancy rate.

Still closed: night clubs, bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, tourist attractions such as museums, racetracks, indoor children’s play areas, casinos, and bingo halls.

Still prohibited: Sports that involve interaction with another person closer than six feet; activities that require use of shared sports equipment; and activities on commercial or public playgrounds.

The updated Safer At Home Order can be viewed at www.governor.alabama.gov.