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Georgia’s governor and the mayor of the state’s capital and largest metropolis are at odds over COVID-19 restrictions, with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms saying a return to powerful measures to regulate a spike in coronavirus infections and Gov. Brian Kemp insisting that her order is “non-binding and legally unenforceable.”
Bottoms, a Democrat, introduced Friday that she was bringing Atlanta again to Phase 1 reopening — probably the most restrictive post-lockdown measures that require all residents to remain dwelling aside from important journeys.
The mayor’s order got here on the identical day that Georgia introduced a record-breaking one-day spike in coronavirus, logging 4,400 new confirmed circumstances. Health authorities in Atlanta’s Fulton County says about half of the brand new circumstances in Georgia up to now two weeks have occurred within the metropolis.
But Kemp, a Republican, rapidly dismissed the mayor’s directive, saying on Friday that it did not supersede his personal, extra relaxed, statewide order issued on the finish of June.
Atlanta Mayor @KeishaBottoms‘ motion as we speak is merely steering – each non-binding and legally unenforceable. As clearly said in my government orders, no native motion might be roughly restrictive, and that rule applies statewide. (1/3) https://t.co/3pQdB0pI70
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) July 10, 2020
“Mayor Bottoms’ action today is merely guidance — both non-binding and legally unenforceable,” Kemp mentioned in an announcement.
“As clearly stated in the Governor’s executive order, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide,” the governor mentioned.
“Once again, if the Mayor actually wants to flatten the curve in Atlanta, she should start enforcing state restrictions, which she has failed to do,” he mentioned. “We ask citizens and businesses alike to comply with the terms of the Governor’s order, which was crafted in conjunction with state public health officials. These common-sense measures will help protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”
Earlier this week, Bottoms had issued a directive for Atlanta residents to put on masks in public, and Kemp responded equally to that order. Although the governor launched a “Wear A Mask” marketing campaign to encourage their use, he has declined to make it obligatory.
Bottoms instructed the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that she had the authority to implement the masks restrictions the way in which she would implement some other metropolis ordinance.
The cities of Savannah, East Point and Athens, Kemp’s hometown, have enacted similar mask directives.