Gov. Tate Reeves announced today that the state will be taking a measured approach to reopen Mississippi as the current shelter-in-place order is replaced with a new, safer-at-home order. The new order will be in effect Monday at 8 a.m.

“We are facing a historic economic crisis,” Reeves said. “The economic damage has been particularly cruel to the working class. Those who work on their feet, those who don’t have a home office, or paid leave.”

Many currently closed businesses will be allowed to open under certain circumstances. Retail stores can reopen, but they must reduce capacity by 50 percent based on their designated full capacity. Masks are highly recommended, but not mandated.

A large grouping of currently closed businesses – including movie theaters, bars, museums, casinos, salons and barber shops, gyms, and clubs – will remain closed. Restaurants remain limited to curbside, take out, or delivery as dining rooms are still closed. 

Gatherings of 10 or more remain prohibited, and Reeves said this will be enforced. There is also a classification of the most vulnerable, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, who are required to continue sheltering in place. 

Still, Reeves continued to stress personal responsibility asking all Mississippi to stay at home except for essential travel.

“That’s still the safest behavior,” Reeves added. “You still have to be smart. You are responsible for your safety and the safety of your loved ones. We trust Mississippians to make good, personal decisions.

“There is not a government replacement for wisdom. We believe in personal responsibility. You should do what you think is best for your family.”

Municipalities are allowed to be more strict, but they are not allowed to be in conflict with the state order as it relates to designated essential businesses.

The order is in effect for two weeks, though Reeves sounded very confident that they may review the order prior to see if more of the state can open up.