Atlanta set to allow outdoor events with under 10,000 people after May 15

Outdoor gathering limit in Atlanta rising to 10,000, events getting back in action
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Outdoor gathering limit in Atlanta rising to 10,000, events getting back in action

Atlanta City Council recently ratified Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ latest executive order to expand the city’s attendance limit for outdoor events.

Bottoms issued an executive order last week to begin allowing outdoor events with under 10,000 people after May 15. The council unanimously passed an ordinance supporting the mayor’s order Monday night.

The city council must vote to ratify the mayor’s executive orders whenever they apply to “events of short duration,” according to the city’s Code of Ordinances. The order on outdoor events comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, though Bottoms has described her optimism about the pandemic’s end as a “light at the end of the tunnel.”

ExploreHow Atlanta is reopening public events and public gatherings as COVID limits are eased

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that people in the United States who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks outdoors while walking, running, hiking or biking, or when in small gatherings with members of their own households. Masks are still necessary in crowded outdoor venues like sports stadiums or outdoor concerts, the agency said.

City officials, meanwhile, could see non-essential city of Atlanta employees returning to government buildings this month. Those buildings could also be open to the public by mid-July, according to City Council Staff Director Theo Pace.

Atlanta is operating with a five phase COVID-19 Response Plan, and is currently in phase 2, which allows businesses to operate with “severe restrictions.” Phase 3 allows for additional businesses to resume operations with restrictions and capacity limitations.

City Council President Felicia Moore previously said the administration is making plans for entering phases 4 and 5 — which allow city employees to return to buildings, and public access to those buildings, respectively.

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