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Sheriff's Office breaks down what is and isn't allowed during shelter-in-place order

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The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office won’t be randomly stopping people or vehicles to see if they’re complying with Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter-in-place order that puts restrictions on travel in Georgia.

That’s according to a message that the FCSO posted to its Facebook account on Friday morning, hours before the shelter-in-place order is scheduled to go into effect at 6 p.m. through April 13. 

“This doesn't mean you can travel just because you want to,” Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman said in a statement. “There are numerous exemptions, but if you do not fit one of those, stay home and avoid travel. It is a violation of law not to comply.”

Kemp announced his plans to sign an executive order for a statewide shelter-in-place on Wednesday, April 1, in response to the continued increase in cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, across the state. The governor’s office released the details of the order on Thursday, April 2. 

The order compels Georgians to practice social distancing while allowing for travel for several purposes including to purchase food and medicine and allows many businesses to maintain “minimum basic operations” as long they comply with social distancing restrictions. It also defines what businesses must do to protect workers from exposure to and the spread of COVID-19 and defines how the order may be enforced.

Still, many residents and businesses have scrambled to better understand what is and isn’t allowed under the new order. The Sheriff’s Office attempted to do that with its post Friday.

“The following is in no way a comprehensive list or exact legal wording,” Freeman said in a statement, “just a plain language attempt to answer your questions and concerns.”

What is prohibited?

● Dine-in eating;

● Fitness centers;

● Bowling alleys;

● Theaters;

● Live performance venues;

● Amusement rides;

● Body art studios;

● Estheticians;

● Hair designers and salons/barber shops;

● Persons licensed to practice massage therapy;

● Bars;

● More than 10 persons at a single location (not for a family living in the same household) unless they can be six feet apart.

Exemptions to travel ban

● Medical needs such as treatment, medication, testing, etc.

● To buy food or household essentials (grocery, takeout, pharmacy), etc.

● Delivery of food, medical supplies or medication, household essentials, etc.

● To and from work-related travel for those that work in Critical Infrastructure, according to guidelines by the Department of Homeland Security;

● Engaging in outdoor exercise activities if a minimum of six feet is maintained between all persons during such activities who are not occupants of the same household.

Exemptions for receiving visitors

● Visitors who are providing medical, behavioral health, emergency, medical supplies, or medication, including home hospice;

● Visitors who are providing support for the person to conduct activities of daily living, like assistant for the elderly or special needs;

● Visitors who are providing necessary supplies and services, such as food, supplies, equipment for work-at-home, or needed to maintain safety, sanitation, or essential maintenance of the home;

● Visitors received during end-of-life circumstances.

The Sheriff’s Office also noted that the new order doesn’t impact ownership, sales or transportation of firearms, nor does it interfere with staff or volunteers at places of worship traveling to conduct online religious services at their facility as long as they practice social distancing.

In addition, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources's Lawn Enforcement Division said that boating, fishing, hiking and hunting are permitted under Kemp's order as long as social distancing guidelines are used. 

State-owned boat ramps will remain open, the DNR said in a Facebook post.

Read Kemp's full executive order here.