Gov. McMaster lifting mandatory ‘home or work’ order on Monday, will allow outside dining at restaurants

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Friday announced he is removing the mandatory ‘home or work’ order and will allow outside dining at restaurants early next week.

During a press conference, Gov. McMaster said that mandatory order to stay home or stay at work order, when went into effect in early April, will be a voluntary action as on Monday, May 4th.

Gov. McMaster also announced restaurants across the state can provide outdoor dining service in addition to existing take out, curbside, and delivery services.

He said restaurants must follow the guidelines set forth by the Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Existing approved outdoor seating areas:

  • Tables are to be spaced a minimum of 8 feet from each other (measured from all edges of the table);
  • Limit table groups to 8 individuals;
  • Eliminate gatherings in the building when entering or exiting outdoor seating area;
  • Maintain strict social/physical distancing guidelines;
  • Tables, chairs, and seats should be sanitized after every customer

If open areas and/or temporary tents are utilized by existing, permitted restaurants, all sides of the tent must be open and the following conditions are required:

  • Tables are to be spaced a minimum of 8 feet from each other (measured from all edges of the table);
  • Table groups are to be limited to 8 individuals;
  • State-approved fire extinguisher within 75 feet of tent area;
  • Minimum of 7-foot-6 inch head room (ceiling height)

“Our goal from the onset of this deadly pandemic has been to protect South Carolinians, but as we all know, the state’s economic health is a major component of the state’s public health,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “South Carolinians, now more than ever, should be vigilant in protecting themselves, their loved ones, and their communities by practicing social distancing and continuing to follow the advice and recommendations from our public health experts.”

Restrictions on short term rentals from areas defined as COVID-19 hotspots are also being lifted and a requirement on individuals entering the state from the same “hotspots” to self-quarantine for two weeks has also been allowed to expire.

The decision comes after a week of AccelerateSC meetings, which is a task force that was created by the governor to develop a coordinated economic revitalization plan which includes healthcare professionals, representatives from large and small businesses, local government officials, and education professionals.  

For other businesses that remain closed like gyms and hair salons, Gov. McMaster said a decision will come in the future.

“We are thinking about that and attempting to gather the information, data and experience that we need to make that decision,” he said. “I would like to announce that today and day the virus is gone, but unfortunately we can’t say that.”

Gov. McMaster said they are constantly trying to determine the best and earliest moment to remove the remaining restrictions as fast and safely as possible.

More than 6,000 people have tested positive across the state with 160 new cases reported on Friday. State epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell announced 12 deaths from the virus on Friday, bringing the statewide total to 256.

Governor McMaster and Dr. Bell strongly urged anyone considered to be “at-risk” based on CDC guidance to limit exposure to others and for all South Carolinians to continue prioritizing their travels between home and work, when possible.

Anybody who is sick or is showing symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately contact a healthcare provider and self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

“This virus will continue to spread and still presents a very real and serious threat to our people, but I believe in South Carolinians and their ability to act wisely and safely,” Gov. McMaster said. “We are a strong, resilient, and compassionate people who care for one another and will act in the best interest of our state as a whole.”

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