Georgia COVID-19 restrictions rolled back

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) - Georgia has ended a number of COVID restrictions under new executive order.

Governor Brian Kemp signed the order on March 31, stating that masking, social distancing and the ban on large gatherings would end on April 8.

The decision has stirred different opinions, and while some are happy with the end of the restrictions others believe the decision will affect the state in the months to come.

“I believe it’s premature, and I understand a lot of states are doing that right now. More people obviously are getting vaccinated, which is great, but I think we still have a ways to go,” said Vanessa Patz.

The Thomasville resident said from the very beginning of the pandemic she and her family have taken CDC guidelines seriously. Now that things are more relaxed in the state, Patz said she will continue wearing masks and limiting herself to small gatherings. She also shared that she might be a little more reluctant to visit businesses operating under some of the new restrictions.

“Most definitely, if a large business has a large amount of people, I might choose another location,” said Patz.

One downtown business owner, Annie Jones said she’s always asked customers to wear masks inside her store, The Bookshelf. She said the executive order didn’t really come as a surprise to her, because she understands that the community wants to get back to normal.

“Certainly, we’re seeing more people feel a lot more comfortable without a mask, and again that’s something that I understand but for the time being, we’re going to stick by our original plan,” she said.

Masks will still be required in the store, because Jones said she’s thinking about the safety of her employees...

“We have certainly had customers who I know would prefer to not wear a mask, and I get that, you know nobody really likes wearing one of these. But again, we’re a small business and a small operation so if COVID were to affect one of my employees it would certainly affect how we run our business,” she said.

While a number of downtown businesses have removed their masking and social distancing signage, some people in the community shared that they still plan on following restrictions of their own.

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