Governor Urges Tennesseans to Stay at Home; Enacts Executive Order Nos. 21 and 22

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On Monday, March 30, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order Nos. 21 (EO 21) and 22 (EO 22) (collectively, the Safer at Home Orders) urging Tennesseans to stay at home when possible and mandating the closure of non-essential businesses. Together, the Safer at Home Orders are similar to the Nashville Safer at Home Order in that the list of essential services is broad and that there are no restrictions on any employer’s right to ask employees to work from home.

While engaging in Essential Activities and Essential Services (as defined below), people engaged in such activities should adhere to the following health guidelines (Health Guidelines):

  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet between themselves and others, except for family or household members.
  • Practice good personal hygiene, including washing hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface; avoid touching the face; and disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

Businesses Ordered Closed

Per EO 21 and effective immediately, the following businesses are not to be open to members or the public until 11:59 p.m. on April 14, 2020:

  • Businesses or organizations that perform close-contact personal services, including but not limited to:
    • Barbershops.
    • Hair salons.
    • Waxing salons.
    • Threading salons.
    • Nail salons or spas.
    • Spas providing body treatments.
    • Body-art facilities or tattoo services.
    • Tanning salons.
    • Massage-therapy establishments or massage services.
  • Entertainment and recreational gathering venues, including but not limited to:
    • Night clubs.
    • Bowling alleys.
    • Arcades.
    • Concert venues.
    • Theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, or similar facilities.
    • Racetracks.
    • Indoor children’s play areas.
    • Adult entertainment venues.
    • Amusement parks.
    • Roller or ice-skating rinks.

The businesses listed above are in addition to fitness facilities and in-person food and drink establishments, which were previously closed per Executive Order No. 17.

Activities and Businesses Deemed Essential

According to EO 22 and effective at 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2020, until 11:59 p.m. on April 14, 2020, Tennesseans are urged to stay at home except for when engaging in an “Essential Activity” or “Essential Service.” Definitions of Essential Activity and Essential Service as used in EO 22 are available here.

EO 22 encourages Tennesseans to limit the frequency in engaging in Essential Activities or Essential Services. The order also states that employers should take steps to the greatest extent practicable to equip and permit employees to work from home and observe the Health Guidelines and necessary precautions advised by President Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, an employer shall not require or allow an employee who the employer knows has tested positive for COVID-19 to report to work until that employee has satisfied the conditions for discontinuing home isolation under CDC guidelines.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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