The Governor of Georgia signed an executive order on Thursday that prohibits local officials from ordering businesses to adopt mask or covid vaccine mandates.
Gov. Brian Kemp said the measure is necessary to “protect” private businesses.
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EU online reports: The cities of Atlanta and Savannah reinstated mask mandates late last month for public indoor spaces, citing a rise in cases of the virus driven by the highly contagious delta variant.
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Some school districts in Georgia also are requiring students and teachers to wear masks inside school buildings. While Kemp has supported letting individual school systems make those decisions, he said his executive order is aimed at businesses.
“Small businesses across our state should not be punished by local governments,” he said. “Just as our economy is starting to return to normal, small businesses cannot survive another shutdown.”
Kemp said Thursday’s order is in keeping with his commitment throughout the course of the pandemic to protect “both lives and livelihoods.”
Thanks to that stand, Georgia has been able to reduce unemployment and experience record job growth while still prioritizing seniors vulnerable to coronavirus and seeing to the needs of hospitals and schools, he said.
“I trust hardworking Georgians to know what’s best for themselves, their families and their employees,” he said.