Safe Return Order Announced, All Businesses to Reopen

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The Safe Return Order will begin Monday, June 1st. Governor Reeves has announced the new Safe Return Order as part of the next stage of  recovery for Mississippi. The new plan lays out the latest stage of his plan which opens all businesses in Mississippi to restart the state’s economy while continuing to flatten the curve. “Consulting with Dr. Thomas Dobbs and our state health experts, the new executive order details updated social distancing guidelines for Mississippians, businesses, healthcare professionals, and indoor and outdoor recreation,” said Reeves.

The Safe Return order takes effect on Monday, June 1 at 8:00 AM as the previous order ends and will remain in effect until Monday, June 15 at 8:00 AM.

Guidelines Listed Below

For Mississippians:

  • All those in the vulnerable population are instructed to continue sheltering in place to protect their health.
    • This includes all elderly individuals (age 65 or older per CDC guidelines) and individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune systems are compromised as such by chemotherapy for cancer or any other condition requiring such therapy.
  • For large group gatherings when social distancing is not possible, groups are limited to 20 people or less indoors and 50 people or less outdoors.
  • For large groups gatherings when social distancing is possible, groups are limited to 50 people or less indoors and 100 people or less outdoors.
  • All travel may resume, while minimizing non-essential business travel when possible.

For businesses: 

  • All businesses and non-profits in Mississippi are allowed to open, following CDC and Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) guidance to limit transmission.
  • Businesses and non-profits are encouraged to continue allowing employees to work from home or telework.
  • Retail businesses should continue to implement reasonable measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including limiting the number of customers in their stores at one time to no greater than 50% of their store capacity and making hand sanitizer available to customers upon entry.
  • Restaurants and bars must continue to follow in-house dining guidelines set in Executive Orders 1478 and 1486. Bars that do not serve food are allowed to reopen, following those same guidelines.
  • Restaurants and bars are now allowed to have live music performances, with customers and musicians maintaining at least a 12-foot distance.
  • Salons, barbershops, gyms, tattoo parlors, and other personal care facilities must continue to follow guidelines set in Executive Orders 1480 and 1486.

For public and private buildings:

  • Public school buildings are allowed to reopen to the public to offer in-person classroom learning, such as summer school programs and special education evaluations.
  • Private schools and institutions of higher learning are allowed to reopen their buildings and campuses to the public.
  • Reception halls and conference centers are allowed to reopen, limiting to no more than 25% of seating capacity, only holding seated events, and rearranging tables to ensure a 6-foot distance between tables. Any food services must follow the restaurant guidelines under Executive Order 1478.

For healthcare professionals:

  • Healthcare professionals and facilities may continue performing elective medical and dental procedures and surgeries as allowed and approved by MSDH. Such non-emergent procedures and surgeries should limit their use of disposable PPE and not request PPE from any public source.
  • All patients should be screened for recent illness, travel, fever, or recent exposure to COVID-19. Healthcare professionals and facilities should begin testing all patients prior to procedures or surgeries, if possible.
  • No visitors are allowed in the healthcare facility, except for one spouse or caregiver who lives with the patient and only as they are being admitted or discharged.
  • For the safety of residents, patients, and staff, visits to hospitals and nursing homes remain prohibited except to visit those receiving imminent end-of-life care,to visit maternity patients, or as otherwise allowed by that healthcare facility.

For outdoor recreation:

  • People should follow social distancing and maintain a 6-foot distance from others.
  • Executive Order 1473 is amended to allow beaches and sandbars in the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD) to open, following PRVWSD’s regulations. Beaches and sandbars at state lakes remain closed.
  • Recreational boating and fishing and fishing tournaments must continue to follow guidelines set in Executive Orders 1473 and 1486.
  • School weight rooms and training facilities must continue to follow guidelines set in Executive Order 1480.
  • Outdoor recreational facilities must continue to follow guidelines set in Executive Order 1487.

FOR INDOOR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

For businesses:

  • Indoor places of amusement, including bowling alleys and playgrounds, are allowed to reopen.
  • Before they can reopen, indoor places of amusement must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized top to bottom. After opening, facilities must be deep-cleaned daily.
  • Indoor places of amusement are expected to take every step necessary to comply with the regulations, orders, and guidance from MSDH and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Signage must be posted at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.
  • No more than 50% of maximum capacity is allowed.
  • Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances and throughout the facility.
  • All equipment, machines, and games must be rearranged to ensure at least 6 feet between customers.
  • Items and equipment used by customers, like bowling balls and trampolines, must be sanitized and disinfected after each use.
  • All high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.
  • Group gatherings, such as birthday parties, are limited to 20 people max.

For employees:

  • All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
  • Face coverings must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace daily.
  • All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.

For customers:

  • Customers will be screened upon entry.

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