Georgia loosens COVID-19 restrictions

Coronavirus

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp arrives to speak at a news conference at the State Capitol on Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Atlanta, about Major League Baseball’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta over the league’s objection to a new Georgia voting law. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — Starting Thursday, Georgia restaurant tables can be a little closer, more people can get together and vulnerable residents are no longer supposed to stay home as Gov. Brian Kemp loosens COVID-19 restrictions.

The Republican governor said Wednesday that it’s part of an effort to show that “Georgia is open for business.”

Kemp announced on March 31 that he was loosening restrictions that he had in place for nearly a year. For example, restaurant tables will now be required to be only 3.5 feet apart instead of the previous 6 feet. People in movie theaters can sit closer, and there’s no longer a 50-person limit on gatherings when people are closer than 6 feet, which could allow larger indoor concerts and conventions.

Restaurants can also bring their self-serve drink stations back online. Fitness instructors can allow their students to be 6 feet apart instead of the previous 10 feet, and movie theaters can let people get as close as 3 feet.

The governor portrays his new executive order as part of an effort to return to “normal,” continuing to emphasize that economic health is as important as freedom from the respiratory illness that has killed more than 19,000 Georgians.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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