What Alabama Businesses Must Do to Reopen

Alabama’s new amended Safer at Home Order will allow most businesses to reopen as of 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 11, 2020.

However, there are specific guidelines in the Order that different categories of businesses will have to meet. These rules ensure the safety of employees and customers. The goal is to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These business guidelines cover:

  • Businesses in General
  • Restaurants and Bars
  • Athletic Facilities and Gyms
  • Close Contact/Personal Service Businesses
  • Places of Worship

Guidelines: All Businesses

The new Guidelines for Safeguarding All Businesses are designed to protect customers and employees from exposure to Coronavirus.  All businesses of any kind should maintain general (6-foot) social distancing and: 

  • Allow employees to work from home as much as possible.
  • Screen all employees for COVID-19 symptoms, including fever.
  • Order employees to stay home when feeling ill.
  • Clean and sanitize the workplace, especially frequently used areas and surfaces.
  • Use face masks or other face coverings and gloves whenever practical.
  • Improve ventilation whenever possible to reduce the risk of airborne coronavirus transmission.

Guidelines: Restaurants and Bars

Alabama has provided new Guidelines for Restaurants and Bars that are designed to protect customers and employees from exposure to Coronavirus. 

In addition, Governor Kay Ivey’s new Safer at Home Order requires restaurants, bars and breweries to:

  • Maintain 6-foot social distancing between customers and staff whenever possible, including for take-out and curbside pickup.
  • Limit seating for dine-in customers, including no more than eight customers to a table or booth
  • at least 6 feet of separation between different parties.
  • All employees must wear personal protective equipment such as face masks or other face coverings.
  • No self-service food or drink stations.

Guidelines: Athletic Facilities

The new Guidelines for Athletic Facilities are designed to protect customers and employees from exposure to Coronavirus. 

Governor Ivey’s updated Safer at Home Order also mandates athletic facilities and gyms to:

  • Prevent patrons from gathering or congregating within 6 feet of a person from another household.
  • Prevent patrons from participating in any athletic events or sports that require closer contact or interaction or shared equipment.

Guidelines: Close Contact and Personal Care Businesses

The new Guidelines for Close Contact Personal Service Businesses cover barber shops and hair salons, nail studios, spas, tattoo and body art services, and massage therapists.  These guidelines are designed to protect customers and employees from exposure to Coronavirus at these high-risk businesses. 

The Governor’s amended Safer at Home Order also requires personal care businesses to:

  • All employees must wear face masks or face coverings when providing services within 6 feet of a client.
  • Prevent employees or customers from congregating within six feet of someone from another household.
  • Employees must wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately before providing services within 6 feet of a client.
  • Wear gloves whenever possible when providing services within six feet of a client.
  • Use a new pair of gloves for each client.

Guidelines: Places of Worship

The Safer at Home Order update allows in-person worship services to take place IF appropriate social distances can be maintained.  The Guidelines for Places of Worship are designed to protect clergy, staff, and congregants from exposure to the Coronavirus disease. 

The Order and Guidelines require: 

  • 6 feet of social distancing between all people from different households.
  • Use of face masks or face coverings.
  • Screening for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Asking anyone feeling ill to stay home.
  • Improved sanitation and cleaning of facilities, including providing hand sanitizer stations.
  • Discontinue any self-service refreshments, snacks, or foods.
  • Encourage elderly or at-risk congregants to participate in services remotely.

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