Gov. Brian Kemp provides a COVID-19 update

On Dec. 8 Gov. Brian Kemp announced an initial round of vaccines doses will available for distribution to health care workers and nursing home residents as early as the coming week. 

This story has been updated with a statement from the governor's office.

ATLANTA — In a new executive order Gov. Brian Kemp lifted many of the state’s remaining coronavirus restrictions designed to mitigate the spread of the virus including social distancing requirements for restaurants and Georgia residents.

The new order is effective immediately.

The 28-page order paves the way for sporting events and live concert venues to scale back restrictions and ends the requirement for restaurant workers to wear masks.

Restaurants are still required to implement employee screening and sanitation measures but Kemp eliminated requirements for businesses such as gyms, movie theaters, body art studios, hair stylists and massage therapists.

All residents and visitors to the Peach State are now “strongly encouraged” to practice social distancing measures.

"Businesses across the Peach State have followed COVID-19 restrictions for over a year to keep their employees and customers safe, and will now be able to make informed decisions about how their business operations move forward," said Mallory Blunt, spokeswoman for Kemp. "Georgians know best how to protect themselves and their families, and they deserve to be able to return to normal.”

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