Mayor Bottoms announces City of Atlanta moving back to Phase II of reopening

Mayor Bottoms announces City of Atlanta moving back to Phase II of reopening
FILE - In this July 17, 2019, file photo, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks during a Senate Democrats' Special Committee on the Climate Crisis on Capitol Hill in Washington. Bottoms announced Monday, July 6, 2020, that she had tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

ATLANTA — Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Friday that the City of Atlanta has moved back to Phase II of the city’s reopening plan.

In July, the city moved back to Phase I in response to increasing cases of COVID-19 in Georgia.

“The city has met the metrics of our data-driven plan to cautiously move back to Phase II,” Bottoms said in a statement Friday. “COVID-19 continues to ravage families across the city and state. We must all remain vigilant, wear a mask, practice social distancing and take the measures needed to ensure the safety and well-being of our communities.”

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Phase II, which is called the “easing” phase, is effective immediately. The guidelines allow for small, private gatherings of no more than 10 people and to-go and curbside pick-up at both restaurants and retail establishments. (See the full guidelines below)

Bottoms decision to roll the city back to Phase I in July set off a contentious battle between Bottoms and Georgia governor Brian Kemp over how the decision affected small businesses. Kemp filed a lawsuit against the city over the decision, which he eventually withdrew.

The Mayor’s orders are just guidelines and are not enforceable. Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive orders, which have allowed many businesses to fully reopen with new safety and social distancing guidelines, supersede any orders by Mayor Bottoms.

The guidelines of Phase II suggest that people do the following:


  • Stay home except for essential trips
  • Wear a face mask in public (City mandate)
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Social distancing
  • Small, private gatherings of no more than 10 people, with social distancing


  • To-go and curbside pickups from restaurants and retail establishments
  • Continue practicing teleworking
  • Frequent cleaning of public and high touch areas

City Government:

  • Non-essential City facilities remain closed
  • Continue moratorium on special event applications
  • Continue communication with local and State authorities to monitor public health metrics
  • Bottoms the city would move to Phase III after “reaching and sustaining” Phase II metrics.
Mayor rolls back Atlanta?s reopening plan from Phase 2 to Phase 1