Southern states are rushing to get back to business against the advice of medical experts and the federal government.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced Monday that he'd allow some types of shut-down businesses to reopen by next week. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) topped that by saying some businesses could even reopen this Monday at 5 p.m., and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) finished by saying the state's stay-at-home mandate would run out for good at the end of April.
Hair salons, barbers, gyms, and similar businesses will be allowed to reopen Friday in Georgia, Kemp said Monday. Restaurants and theaters will also get to reopen next Monday under social distancing guidelines, though bars and performance venues will stay closed, Kemp said. Lee said some Tennessee businesses will get to reopen by next Monday, and nearly every business will get to do so on May 1.
McMaster went further, saying a variety of retail stores in South Carolina could reopen at 5 p.m. today if they operated at 20 percent capacity or less. Like Florida, McMaster also lifted closures of beaches, public piers, and docks.
The White House issued guidance last week listing what criteria states would have to meet before they were allowed to begin a phased reopening of businesses. None of these states have met those case and hospitalization thresholds yet.