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Kemp extends order to keep bars, nightclubs closed through end of month

Performance venues and amusement parks will also remain closed.

ATLANTA — Georgia bars and nightclubs will remain shut through May 31 under an order extended by Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday.

The governor made the announcement during an afternoon news conference at the State Capitol in Atlanta.

"I know this extension is difficult for many Georgia business owners and communities that have music venues," the governor said. "However we believe waiting a little bit longer will enhance health outcomes."

While the governor reopened the state to most business activity when he allowed his shelter-in-place order to expire at the beginning of the month, he kept in place provisions to keep bars, nightclubs, performance venues, amusement parks and public swimming pools closed. 

RELATED: With order expiring, Georgia businesses look darkly ahead

The extended closures were to expire tomorrow night. 

Public swimming pools will be allowed to open under the same strict guidelines that apply to other places, the governor's office confirmed. 

"They can reopen if they comply with all applicable requirements. Operators need to contact their local health department to determine if and when they need an inspection, what local mandates apply, etc.," a statement said. "The Governor’s order still requires that, even if they are open, users must comply with social distancing mandates, and the large gathering ban applies where more than ten people in a single location must maintain at least six feet between each person."

The governor had left open the possibility that he would continue to keep those types of businesses closed. In his original announcement, he said they would remain closed until 11:59 p.m. on May 13 "unless extended." 

They are the last specific businesses in Georgia that have remained closed under the governor's orders.

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