ATLANTA — Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has rolled back the city’s reopening plans from Phase 2 back to Phase 1 effective immediately as coronavirus cases surge, she announced Friday night.
In Phase 1, residents are asked to stay home except for essential trips and restaurants and business are asked to only serve to-go and curbside orders.
“Based upon the surge of COVID-19 cases and other data trends, pursuant to the recommendations of our Reopening Advisory Committee, Atlanta will return to Phase I of our reopening plan,” said Mayor Bottoms. “Georgia reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences.”
Atlanta entered Phase 2 at the end of May, which was described as an “easing” of restrictions phase.
Phase 2 allowed for to-go and pick-up orders from retail establishments (in addition to restaurants, which were allowed to do so in Phase 1 and allowed for groups of no more than 10 people to gather.
Georgia set a new single-day record of new coronavirus cases on Friday with nearly 5,000 people newly infected.
On Wednesday, Mayor Bottoms signed an executive order mandating that people wear face masks or coverings in the City of Atlanta. Bottoms and her family members have tested positive for the virus.
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.
Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statement after the mayor’s statements, calling them “confusing guidance.”
“Mayor Bottoms’ action today is merely guidance - both non-binding and legally unenforceable. As clearly stated in the Governor’s executive order, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide. Once again, if the Mayor actually wants to flatten the curve in Atlanta, she should start enforcing state restrictions, which she has failed to do. We ask citizens and businesses alike to comply with the terms of the Governor’s order, which was crafted in conjunction with state public health officials. These common-sense measures will help protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”