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Governor Lee orders restaurants to stop dine-in, gyms to shut down

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued a statewide order Sunday, March 22, that limits all Tennessee bars and restaurants to takeout, drive-thru and delivery service only. This order allows for bars and restaurants to sell beer and wine through takeout or deliver if sold with food.

The new order issued by Lee prohibits social gatherings of more than 10 people and orders gyms to close, and limits visits to nursing and retirement homes to “essential care.”

The order goes into effect at midnight Monday and lasts through April 6.

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“I urge every Tennessean to take these actions seriously – our physical and economic health depend on this as we work to beat COVID-19,” Lee said in a statement.

This order does not mandate sheltering in place or prohibit anyone from being out of their home, which is what some other states have done – such as California, Nevada and Illinois.

Lee said Friday that he does not plan to mandate business or church closures.

Doctors across the state have been pushing for Lee to go further and order the closure of non-essential businesses. Nearly 2,000 healthcare workers have signed a petition for Lee to issue a shelter-in-place order.

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