On Thursday, May 21, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced new amendments to her “Safer at Home” order that will allow the reopening of more businesses and activities beginning May 22 at 5 p.m.

In the new update to the order, entertainment venues, athletic activities, educational institutions, child day care facilities and summer camps will now be allowed to reopen subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines. The order is in effect until July 3 at p.m.

“Today is the next step in what has seemed like a long and difficult process of reopening our economy, while at the same time remaining aware of the fact that this is a serious, deadly disease,” Ivey said. “It is not realistic that we could keep everyone totally isolated from one another forever. As long as things don’t get worse we will continue to put personal responsibility in the hands of each and every individual.”

For athletics, teams can begin practicing and conditioning workouts at 5 p.m. on May 22 but the state is requesting that no direct competition begin until June 14 for youth sports and other sports.

Players, coaches, officials and spectators will not be allowed to congregate within six feet of persons from another household except when necessary for players, coaches and officials to directly participate in athletic activities.

Handshakes, high fives and “other physical contact” when players are not in direct athletic activity is also barred. Players, coaches and officials will also be required to wear face masks at all times except when a player or official is directly participating in an athletic activity.

The players, coaches and officials are also not allowed to share water coolers, drinking stations, water bottles, cups or “other drinking devices.”

Entertainment venues can reopen with guidelines that employees must not knowingly allow customers or guests to congregate within six feet of a person from another household. Employees must also take reasonable steps to prevent people from congregating in lobby areas, break rooms and other common areas.

Indoor and enclosed entertainment venues will have to limit occupancy to 50 percent of the normal occupancy load as determined by the fire marshal. Outdoor venues must also comply with social distancing requirements. Employees will also be required to wear a face mask at all times while in regular interaction with customers.

Entertainment venues must also take “reasonable steps” to regularly disinfect items and surfaces that are used regularly.

Entertainment venues include bowing alleys, arcades, concert venues, movie theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, museums, planetariums, racetracks, commercial and public playgrounds, adult entertainment venues, casinos and bingo halls.

There will no longer be limits on how many children can be in the same room in a child daycare facility effective May 23, but those facilities must continue to maintain social distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines.

Youth summer camps can also begin May 23 as long as social distancing and sanitation guidelines are followed.

Beginning June 1, all schools – including public schools, private schools and colleges – will be allowed to reopen campuses as long as social distancing and sanitation guidelines are followed. Employees will be asked to wear facemasks as much as possible and a six-foot distance between people from different households will have to be maintained.

Ivey said that Superintendent Eric Mackey would be announcing a plan for schools to reopen their campuses in the coming days, as well.

To read the entire amended order, visit https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/05/Safer-at-Home-Order-FINAL-5.21.2020.pdf.

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