Georgia governor overrides all local mask orders in the state
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is prohibiting local municipalities across the state from mandating that masks be worn in public to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Kemp’s executive order issued Wednesday prevents local governments from enforcing mandatory face-covering orders that are more restrictive than the current statewide order. The move effectively voided orders issued by at least 15 local governments across the state, according to The Associated Press.
Rather than imposing a mandatory requirement, Kemp’s order states that residents and visitors in the state are “strongly encouraged to wear face coverings as practicable” when in public except when eating, drinking or exercising outdoors.
Candice Broce, a spokesperson for Kemp, doubled down on the governor’s stance that local orders are “unenforceable.”
“Previous executive orders — and now this order — state no local action can be more or less restrictive than ours. We have explained that local mask mandates are unenforceable. The Governor continues to strongly encourage Georgians to wear masks in public,” Broce tweeted.
Previous executive orders – and now this order – state no local action can be more or less restrictive than ours. We have explained that local mask mandates are unenforceable. The Governor continues to strongly encourage Georgians to wear masks in public. https://t.co/MpxkPUkmBL
— Candice Broce (@candicebroce) July 16, 2020
Kemp’s order preventing local orders comes as more governors are implementing statewide mandatory face covering requirements as the number of coronavirus cases continues to surge across much of the U.S.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced such a mandatory order on Wednesday, citing a 50 percent increase in new COVID-19 cases.