Governor issues order allowing for majority of Tennessee businesses to reopen this week

(Screenshot courtesy
(Screenshot courtesy

(Screenshot courtesy

In a new executive order announced April 28, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has announced guidelines that would allow most businesses to reopen this week, repealing the state's stay-at-home order that has been in effect over the past few weeks.

Executive Order No. 30 allows businesses across most industries to reopen while urging residents to continue practicing social distancing and to continue working from home where possible. The order allows the majority of businesses to reopen April 29.

The order also includes stipulations to encourage the continuation of social distancing across the state, prohibits groups of larger than 10 people from gathering and recommends that local restaurants continue to-go services. Residents are also encouraged to continue wearing face masks while out in public to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

However, some businesses will remain closed under the order. Entertainment venues, such as sports facilities, live music venues, theaters, bars, nightclubs and indoor children's play areas, must remain closed. The order also excludes barbershops, salons, spas, tattoo parlors, tanning salons and massage parlors from opening as well.

Places of worship are also not included in the order and are encouraged to continue holding services virtually when possible. Separate guidelines for churches are expected to be announced.

Additionally, nursing home and other long-term care facilities will remain closed to visitors.

As with previous reopening orders, the order does not extend to some large cities, including Davidson County. Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper has released separate plans for the city to reopen; however no dates have been announced.

While Nashville businesses remain closed, the city of Franklin announced its stay-at-home order will expire at midnight on April 28.

The executive order is enforceable until at least midnight on May 29, meaning businesses excluded from reopening under the order would likely remain closed until at least that deadline.

Read the full order from Lee here.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.