Mississippi Enacts Safer-At-Home Order While Loosening Business Restrictions (UPDATED)
Governor Tate Reeves enacted Executive Order #1477, the Safer-At-Home Order, effective in Mississippi until May 11, 2020. This order still encourages individuals to stay at home unless engaged in essential activities or essential travel, but will allow some businesses to begin to open up. What do employers need to know about the upcoming change?
Restaurants And Retail Stores Allowed To Resume Limited Business
- Restaurants and bars are allowed to remain open but are still limited to drive-thru, curbside, and/or delivery service.
- Retail businesses may reopen but must limit the number of customers in their stores at one time to no greater than 50% of store capacity, frequently clean high-contact surfaces, and are encouraged to make hand sanitizer available to their customers upon entry to their store.
- Areas where employees or customers are likely to congregate and interact shall be closed, or the business must enforce strict social distancing protocols (maintaining a minimum of six feet distance between individuals and no gatherings in groups of more than 10 people).
Gyms, salons, and tattoo parlors are still closed to the public. Under the new Order, they can offer retail sales by drive-thru, curbside, and delivery services.
[Ed. Note: Governor Reeves enacted Executive Order #1478 to allow restaurants to slowly reopen. Effective May 7, 2020, restaurants can reopen to no more than 50% capacity and must abide by the following guidelines:
- Entire restaurant and bar must be disinfected, sanitized, and deep-cleaned before resuming in-house dining.
- Employees will be screened at the beginning of their shift each day. They will also be asked whether they’ve been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past two weeks and if they’ve had a fever in the previous 2 days.
- Customers will also be screened upon entry.
- Restaurants and bars must post signs at every entrance stating that no customer with a fever of COVID-19 symptoms will be allowed entry.
- Employees who come in direct contact with customers (servers, bartenders, etc.) must be provided with cloth masks and they are required to wear the mask throughout their shift.
- Employer must provide training on limiting the spread of COVID-19.
- No more than 50% seating capacity in both the indoor and outdoor dining areas.
- Floor plans must ensure at least six feet between each group, and no more than six people per table.
- Utilize mobile and online reservations and encourage contact-less payment.
- Hand sanitizer must be available for use at all entrances, hostess stations, near bathrooms, and cashier stations.]
What Should Employers Do?
As you begin the process of reopening, you should familiarize yourself with our alert: 5 Steps To Reopen Your Workplace, According To CDC’s Latest Guidance. You should also keep handy our 4-Step Plan For Handling Confirmed COVID-19 Cases When Your Business Reopens in the event you learn of a positive case at your workplace. For a more thorough analysis of the many issues you may encounter from a labor and employment perspective, we recommend you review our FP BEYOND THE CURVE: Post-Pandemic Back-To-Business FAQs For Employers and our FP Resource Center For Employers.
Fisher Phillips will continue to monitor the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Alert System to get the most up-to-date information. For further information, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, any attorney in our Gulfport office, or any member of our Post-Pandemic Strategy Group Roster.
This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific developing situation. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.