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Alabama's newest Safer-at-Home order: What you need to know

Restaurants, close-contact businesses, and gyms can reopen, and gatherings can resume...but it's not a free-for-all.
Credit: WZDX

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama's newest Safer-at-Home order goes into effect on May 11. What's new, what stays the same, and what does it mean for you?

Recommendations for social distancing, minimizing travel, wearing face covering around people not in your household, frequent hand-washing or hand-sanitizing, not touching your face, staying home if you are sick, and sanitizing surfaces frequently remain in effect. Vulnerable people are recommended to remain at home as much as possible.

Group gatherings: Group gathering size restrictions have been lifted, as long as people can stay six feet apart. Churches and other places of worship could be the most affected by this, and the Alabama Dept. of Public Health created special guidelines to help leaders and attendees navigate this "new normal".

Restaurants: Restaurants can reopen for on-premises service at 50% occupancy, but there are new guidelines, and buffets and self-service are off the table for now. Takeout, delivery, online ordering, and curbside pickup are encouraged. If a restaurant is going to offer on-premises service, like everything else, it's going to look a little different.

Tables can have no more than eight people and maintain at least six feet of separation between people seated at different tables, booths, chairs, or stools. Employees must wear face covering while in regular interaction with guests, and no self-service by guests at drink stations, buffets, or salad bars is allowed.

Close-contact service providers: Close-contact service providers such as barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons and spas, body art facilities, tattoo services, and massage therapy establishments and services can reopen, but they'll look a little different. 

Clients or people with them should not be within six feet of someone from another household, employees must wear face coverings and wash their hands immediately before providing services, and they are encouraged to wear gloves when providing services and wear a new pair for each client. They should also wear a clean smock for each client.

Athletic facilities: Fitness centers and commercial gyms, spas, yoga, barre, and spin facilities can reopen, but like close-contact services, they'll look and operate a little differently. 

Guests should not be within six feet of someone from another household. Sports that involve interaction with another person of closer than 6 feet and activities that require use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment are prohibited, and employees must take reasonable steps to prevent people from gathering in lobby areas, break rooms, and other common areas. Employees must also wear face coverings.

Facilities are limited to 50% capacity, and you can't use showers, hot tubs, steam rooms, lockers, saunas and other recreational water or spa facilities. Pools may be open, subject to special rules.

See the complete "Safer-at-Home" order that goes into effect on May 11, 2020 below:

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