Alabama’s “Safer at Home” Update

May 2020

May 8, 2020

On Friday, May 8, 2020, Governor Kay Ivey amended the Order of the State Health Officer Suspending Certain Public Gatherings (“Safer at Home”) to loosen further restrictions effective May 11, 2020.

Under the Amendment, all non-work related gatherings of any size where participants cannot maintain six feet of separation remain banned. However, churches and religious organizers may open. The change eliminates the ban on gatherings of more than ten people.

Consistent with the previous order, all employers shall, “where practicable at work,” maintain six feet of separation between employees, disinfect, prevent employees who are sick from coming into contact with others, facilitate remote work, and minimize travel.

Effective May 11, all retail stores may open if they limit capacity to 50% of the normal occupancy.

Additionally, close-contact services (barber shops, hair salons, etc.) may open, but only if they prevent clients from congregating within six feet of someone from another household, wear a mask that covers nose and mouth at all times while providing services, and wash their hands immediately before and after providing services. Providers are also encouraged to wear gloves.

Athletic facilities may open May 11, as well, with additional safeguards, unless they involve interaction of people within six feet of each other, require use of shared sporting equipment or involve using commercial or public playground equipment.

As of May 11, as well, if a restaurant offers on-premises food or drink, the party may be no more than 8 people and each booth, table, etc., must be six feet apart from each other. The Amendment requires that every employee at restaurants wear a facial covering at all times while interacting with guests. Drink stations, salad bars, and buffets remain prohibited.

The current Amendment will expire May 22, when the State anticipates providing another update.To view the Order of the State Health Officer Public Gathering Notice, click here.

Visit our COVID-19 Hub for ongoing updates.