MANDATE - MAR. 21, 2021
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has extended the statewide mask and social
distancing mandates through April 9, 2021 as coronavirus cases continue
to climb. The current "Safer At Home" order has been amended
with the new mask ordinance and remains in effect until 5 p.m. on April
9, 2021. The order may be extended past this date.
1. When do I have to wear a mask?
You must wear a mask when you are in public and in
close contact with other people. Specifically, the order says to wear
a mask when you are within six feet of a person from another household
in any of the following places: (a) any indoor space
open to the public; (b) a vehicle operated by a transportation
service; and (c) an outdoor public space where ten
or more people are gathered.
young children have to wear a mask? What about people who are exercising?
In other words, are there any exceptions to the mask-wearing requirement?
There are five categories of exceptions. The largest category, exceptions
for “practical necessity,” covers people or situations where
mask use is incompatible with the realities of life—for example,
children six or younger, people with certain medical conditions or disabilities,
eating and drinking, medical and dental procedures, and so on. There
are also categories of exceptions for exercise, for communicating with
an audience, and for certain essential job functions. An additional
category carves out narrow exceptions for protected activities like
voting and religious worship — but even then, wearing a mask is
kind of face mask is required?
The requirement allows all kinds of masks to be used—whether store-bought,
homemade, or improvised from household items like scarves, bandanas,
or t-shirts. The key is for the mask to cover your nostrils and mouth.
However, N-95 or KN-95 masks, now widely available, are highly
live in a city or county that already has a local mask order. Am I supposed
to follow my local order or this new statewide order?
Follow this new statewide order. While this order is in effect,
it will replace all local mask rules to provide a uniform, statewide
am a business owner. What does this order mean for my business?
The order requires businesses to take reasonable steps, where practicable,
to encourage mask use by employees and customers. One example of a reasonable
step might be to post signs encouraging customers and patrons to wear
a mask. Although a business is not required to deny entry to people
who are mask-less, they always retain the right to do so—and doing
so would certainly be a reasonable step to encourage mask use.
long will the new mask requirement be in effect?
The new mask requirement goes into effect Jan 21, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
It is currently set to expire on March 5, 2021. This
order will likely be extended.
at Home" Statewide Public Health Order
Frequently Asked Questions about Beaches
1. I’ve heard that the beaches are re-opening. Does that
mean the beaches will return to normal?
Family gatherings must maintain a consistent six-foot distance between
themselves and all persons from a different household. The term “beach”
means the sandy shoreline area abutting the Gulf of Mexico, whether
privately or publicly owned, including beach access points.
counts as a “gathering”? How do I make sure that I am not
accidentally violating this new rule?
in a “gathering” is to come together to form a group; it
implies that people are congregating with one another for some period
of time. So, you cannot violate the rule merely by walking by a gathering
or group. By the same token, you would be violating the rule if you
go to the beach when it is so full and densely populated that the people
there really form a single, large group. If everyone complies with this
rule, there will be distinct groups, clearly defined and separated from
one another. And within each distinct group, of course, the members
will be at least six feet apart from people outside of their household.
would like to take my young children to the beach. Am I required to
maintain six feet of separation from them?
The six-foot rule does not apply to members of the same household.
we use the pool at our beach house, condominium or hotel?
Under the new Safer at Home order, pools are no longer closed. Having
said that, individuals and establishments (condominiums and hotels)
are still required to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, and they
must always maintain six feet of separation between persons from different
households. This will result in greatly diminished pool access. Establishments
may wish to implement their own policies to allocate pool access among
about charter fishing boats? Will they be able to take customers fishing?
Charter boat businesses will be treated just like other businesses:
They must keep clients six feet apart. They must also regularly disinfect
frequently used items and surfaces.
am a college senior and would like to rent a house with a group of 20
friends or so to celebrate graduation. Can we rent a large beach house
No. The Safer at Home order prohibits non-work related
gatherings of persons from different households. Non-work related gatherings
of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between
persons. In addition, a rental business must take reasonable steps to
avoid these kinds of gatherings; they should therefore decline to facilitate
the rental under the current order.
are the consequences for violating these rules?
Violations of the state health order are misdemeanors, subject to a
$500 penalty. But if there are large-scale failures to comply,
or if this new rule leads to increased COVID-19 transmission, the State
may be forced to close the beaches again.
does this new rule go into effect?
January 21, 2021, at 5:00 p.m.
will beaches return to normal operation?
The new rule is part of the State’s gradual approach to re-opening.
If the State makes progress in reducing the spread of COVID-19, then
additional steps will be taken to loosen restrictions. If the
State makes insufficient progress in reducing the spread of COVID-19,
then the State may be forced to close the beaches again in the future.