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Gov. Kay Ivey loosens Safer at Home restrictions Thursday

Gov. Kay Ivey amended the Safer at Home order Thursday and added new dates.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon at the State Capitol, Ivey’s amended statewide health order says summer camps, entertainment venues and athletic activities can open, starting Friday at 5 p.m. The new order take effects Friday at 5 p.m. and ends on July 3 at 5 p.m.

“We cannot sustain a delayed way of life as we search for a vaccine,” Ivey said. “Our numbers are not as good as we hoped. It’s not realistic to believe we’re going to keep everyone totally isolated from each other.”

The order removed the 10-person limit on non-work gatherings, but maintain a 6-foot distance.

Schools statewide K-12 can reopen starting June 1. Theaters and bowling alleys can reopen, schools by June 1, athletic competitions by June 15. Youth practices can start Friday.

Athletic facilities such as fitness centers and gyms were allowed to re-open subject to social-distancing guidelines. Close contact service providers such as barber shops, hair and nail salons and tattoo parlors were also permitted to open under social distancing guidelines.

The COVID-19 restrictions still exist for the following:

-All retail stores subject to 50 percent occupancy rules.

-Activities at senior citizen centers are suspended.

-Restricted visitation at hospitals and nursing homes.

-Non-work gatherings still require people to maintain a 6-foot distance between each other.

-Restaurants and bars are open but with limited capacity.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris also spoke at the final news gathering before Memorial Day holiday weekend. Harris said he expects to see hot spots as being experienced in Montgomery to continue in the upcoming months.

“We’ll continue to see places where we get a surge in COVID-19 cases from time to time,” Harris said.

Ivey noted that over 500,000 people have filed for unemployment over the last two months.

Ivey added that the state has made a deal with Apple and Google to help with contact tracing.