Governor Brian Kemp revealed Monday that movie theaters in the state of Georgia would be permitted to reopen on April 27.
“Subject to the specific social distancing and sanitation mandates, theaters, private social clubs and restaurant dine-in services will be allowed to reopen on Monday, April 27,” he said in a press conference.
“By taking this measured action, we will get Georgians back to work safely, without undermining the progress we all have made in this battle against COVID-19,” Kemp said.
He added that documented COVID-19 cases in the state have “flattened and appear to be declining.”
Kemp did not acknowledge that the process of actually reopening the theaters in accordance with the enhanced safety mandates could possibly take much longer than seven days.
After assessing the financial impact of COVID-19 pandemic, chains like AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas, Cinemark and independent locations have furloughed or terminated the majority of the workforce needed to reopen theaters to the public.
The process of reinstating staff willing to return, hiring new staff to replace those unable or unwilling to return, and training all active employees on the new mandated safety procedures is a lengthy one.
The action of Georgia attempting to return to some measure of normalcy is one of the first in the nation. It mimics the plan of the federal government to prove that the United States is open for business.
Kemp also announced gyms, fitness centers, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons would be permitted to open on April 24. While stating that on-line and call-in church services “remains a good option,” he said residents can attend church.
He advised elderly Georgia residents and those struggling with severe medical issues to remain sheltered in place through May 13.
“I will say that when we have more people moving around we probably will see our cases continue to go up, but we’re a lot better prepared for that than we were a month ago,” he added.