Food and alcohol in the restaurant to take away or delivery only


Without ordering some businesses to close, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Sunday ordered restaurants, bars, gyms and nursing homes to change the way they do business in the coming weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic .

Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Decree 17 calling on businesses across the state to use alternative business models from Monday March 23, 2020 at midnight CDT until April 6, 2020 at midnight CDT. The ordinance also describes how businesses and citizens should work to protect vulnerable populations.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created both an economic and a health crisis and our response must continue to address both aspects,” Governor Lee said. “Our goal is to ensure the safety of the public, especially vulnerable populations, while doing everything possible to keep Tennesséens in a financially stable position.”

Executive Decree 17, signed on Sunday March 22, 2020, prohibits social gatherings of 10 or more people and also enacts the following provisions concerning restaurants, bars and similar catering establishments:

  • Establishments must exclusively offer drive-thru, take-out or delivery options to support families, businesses and the food supply chain during this emergency.
  • Establishments may sell take-out or delivery alcohol (with food purchase) in closed containers to persons 21 years of age and over.

Gyms and fitness / exercise centers or substantially similar facilities are to temporarily close and suspend in-person services until April 6, 2020. In the meantime, these companies are encouraged to continue digital programming where possible. .

The ordinance also pursues additional measures to ensure the safety of vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with underlying conditions.

  • Visits to nursing homes, retirement homes, and long-term care or assisted living facilities are now limited to visits involving only essential care.
  • Businesses are encouraged to adopt policies that take additional measures to help vulnerable populations by considering measures such as exclusive shopping hours for the general public.

“I urge every Tennessian to take these steps seriously – our physical and economic health depend on it as we work to defeat COVID-19,” Lee said.

More information regarding COVID-19, health resources and small business support available HERE.

About Vivian J. Smith

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