Governor’s ban on nonessential businesses met with confusion

The doors of the state Capitol were closed to the public on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order to shut down nonessential businesses around the state to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus carried a 2,250-word attachment outlining which commercial activities would be exempted from coverage.

That has led to a chorus of questions about which commercial activities exactly are covered by the ban, and whether looser state guidelines would supercede stricter local rules. The second question is the easier one to answer. According to Lee’s executive order: “Nothing herein repeals, preempts, or otherwise limits the authority, if any, of a locality to issue further orders or measures on these same subjects.”

As for the which companies are covered by the blanket ban, Lee’s previous orders have specifically targeted restaurants (except for takeout and delivery) and gyms. The governor also issued a separate executive order Monday listing more businesses as having to close (in addition to the ones earlier ordered).

Businesses to be shuttered include those performing close-contact personal services, such as:

  • Barber shops.
  • Hair salons.
  • Waxing salons.
  • Threading salons.
  • Nail salons or spas.
  • Spas providing body treatments.
  • Body-art facilities or tattoo services.
  • Tanning salons.
  • Massage-therapy establishments or massage services.

Also closed are entertainment and recreational gathering venues, such as:

  • Night clubs.
  • Bowling alleys.
  • Arcades.
  • Concert venues.
  • Theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, or similar facilities.
  • Racetracks.
  • Indoor children’s play areas.
  • Adult entertainment venues.
  • Amusement parks.
  • Roller or ice skating rinks.

15 Responses to Governor’s ban on nonessential businesses met with confusion

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    We are confused because we thought Governor Bill Lee took his oath to support and defend the US Constitution and the Tennessee Constitution seriously. Perhaps he lied.

  • Avatar
    steve cates says:

    He is just plain WEAK. I have dealt with “fence riders” before. I worked with a guy one time – for decades – and I often wondered how he had a crotch left in any of his britches because he was always jumping from one side of the fence to another. Noone respects people – in the long run – who act this way.

    • Avatar
      John says:

      We still want to hear from the experts. We haven’t heard the Chief Medical Officer or any other experts or people on the ground in rural health departments. We’re just supposed to buy the word of the Commissioner that Bill Lee appointed and his political advisors control?

      • Avatar
        John says:

        Their attempts to cover their asses after the fact are laughable. The state lab does the testing. They knew about the nursing home in Gallatin days before the story broke. The only reason the story broke is 30-40 ambulances showed up in the middle of the night on Friday.

  • Avatar
    R Burr says:

    When people start suspending provisions of the constitution the country becomes in great jeopardy. Taking away the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and taking away the provisions of how leaders are to be elected is very dangerous. Personally, I do not want “Mein FuhrerTrump, Lee” or anyone else. Our government is based on the constitution last time it was suspended was about Abraham Lincoln. Under no circumstances should elections be attempted to be suspended the documents that founded the US and the state we are written in order to provide structure and protection for every day citizens when people start throwing them out the window the country is going to go along with it.

    • Avatar
      James White says:

      Yet the individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent. – J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, Elks Magazine, October 1956

  • Avatar
    Walt Georgev says:

    It seems there are more exceptions then business is being prohibited from opening and the like. I find it extremely interesting that certain nonessential entities are allowed to remain open it would be very telling and I’m sure if the governors campaign finance record for pool to see just how many of these supposedly essential in truth nonessential businesses are allowed to continue to proceed with work as normal. I’m willing to bet it’s at least half. One of my favorite is all of the private construction that is allowed to continue. I wonder how much money contractors donated to his campaign.

  • Avatar
    Kendra Tilley says:

    Whirlpool has been fully operational since day 1. Will they be allowed to remain open? I bet they have the pull needed to keep it open while other business face a complete failure and will never be able to reopen. Those employees will get federal checks too. Those checks should only go to people that were not being paid and they should have gotten more than $1200. It cost each tax payer over $60K to get $1200. Something just isn’t right about this. The federal government should have requested all businesses that did not pay their employees submit a list and ONLY those people should get any money.

    • Avatar
      James White says:

      1. It will go to the Federal Reserves’ Buddies, the Bankers in the USA and many other countries. (just like the 2008 bailout that your congressmen voted for)
      2. Prepare for Inflation like none you have seen in your lifetime.

    • Avatar
      James White says:

      3. And it really isn’t about the 6Trillion (60k per tax payer), it is about POWER.

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        But we’re not going to pay it’s going, along with the other 22T, on the credit card…….someone unborn is going to pay it. And Trump is delighted that they’re only going to pay the Principal because it is being borrowed at a near- ZERO interest rate so how great is that ! Trumps reaction 🙂 My reaction :(((((

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