Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced that while his state will extend its emergency declaration, all statewide coronavirus restrictions on businesses will be repealed.
Lee, a Republican, made the announcement during a Tuesday call with the state Legislature. He said that in addition to removing restrictions on businesses, restrictions on gatherings would also be rolled back, although the six largest cities in the Volunteer State will still be able to set their own local restrictions.
“I want the economy to move forward,” Lee said during the call, according to the Tennessean. “I don’t want any business to have any reason to not function as fully as they possibly can. I’m advocating for that in our big six counties, as well.”
Lee said Tuesday afternoon that there will be “no limits on any businesses.”
The statewide emergency order was set to expire on Wednesday, but Lee said that he would continue to renew it as long as the government keeps an emergency declaration in place at the federal level.
Lee told reporters on Tuesday that Tennessee has “taken one of the most targeted approaches to the pandemic in the country.” He also highlighted the work of local municipalities in combating the pandemic and said that he has spoken to mayors who have said they wanted to continue local mask mandates, while others did not. The governor said it would be up to the cities to decide.
“They’ve been good stewards,” Lee said of the work done by mayors during the coronavirus pandemic.
The state has had more than 191,000 confirmed cases of the respiratory illness and nearly 2,400 deaths since the pandemic first began, according to a count by the New York Times.
Story cited here.