Even as public health officials sound the alarm over a new wave of COVID-19 infections, Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order on Wednesday that will roll back many of Georgia’s pandemic restrictions beginning April 8.

The rollback will eliminate the gatherings ban and shelter-in-place requirements as well as reduce any remaining distance requirements at restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and fitness clubs.

In two other executive orders, Kemp extended the state’s public health state of emergency until April 30, allowed state agency employees to get the vaccine without using sick leave,  and extended the current pandemic restrictions until April 7 before the rollback goes into effect on April 8.

Kemp’s executive orders are available to read here.

For more about this story, see coverage in Atlanta Intown.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.