So far, the governor has strongly opposed a return to the strict statewide coronavirus rules in force through much of April, when close-contact businesses such as nail salons and barber shops were shuttered and restaurants were barred from allowing dine-in services.
He became one of the first governors to roll back economic restrictions in late April, temporarily drawing the wrath of President Donald Trump. Kemp’s last few statewide orders were notable in part because they held the line on many rules rather than continuing a trend of easing them.
The Republican has come under increasing pressure from public health officials and other critics who call for him to take more proactive measures. Several GOP governors have imposed mask mandates, and others have given leeway to local governments to institute their own restrictions.
Meanwhile, a new federal report lists Georgia among 21 states in the “red zone” due to a rising number of coronavirus cases. The report obtained by The New York Times recommends that Georgia officials impose a statewide mask mandate, close bars and nightclubs, and limit indoor dining.
Trump and other White House figures, however, have endorsed Kemp’s approach. The president has called for more states to reopen their economies and Vice President Mike Pence, who visited twice in a week in May, has hailed Georgia as a model.