A new health order requires the closure of certain “non-essential” businesses in Alabama. This order is effective March 28 at 5 p.m. The order defines affected businesses and activities that include entertainment venues, athletic facilities, close-contact service providers, and retail stores. The order is in effect until 5 p.m. April 17 when a determination on extending the order will be made.

A previous order concerning day care centers is unchanged, and earlier health orders regarding on-premise consumption of food or drink at restaurants and bars remain in effect. Except for certain situations that are described in the health order, elective dental, medical and surgical procedures are to be postponed until further notice.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “Everyone plays a critical role in protecting others and is encouraged to spend as much time as possible at home to prevent an increase in new infections.”

The list of businesses, venues, and activities below will be closed to non-employees or not take place:

• Night clubs

• Bowling alleys

• Arcades

• Concert venues

• Theaters, auditoriums, and performing arts centers

• Tourist attractions (including museums and planetariums)

• Racetracks

• Indoor children’s play areas

• Adult entertainment venues

• Casinos

• Bingo halls

• Venues operated by social clubs

Athletic facilities and activities:

• Fitness centers and commercial gyms

• Spas and public or commercial swimming pools

• Yoga, barre, and spin facilities

• Spectator sports

• Sports that involve interaction with another person of closer than 6 feet

• Activities that require use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment

• Activities on commercial or public playground equipment

Close-contact service providers:

• Barber shops

• Hair salons

• Waxing salons

• Threading salons

• Nail salons and spas

• Body-art facilities and tattoo services

• Tanning salons

• Massage-therapy establishments and massage services

Retail stores:

• Furniture and home-furnishings stores

• Clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores

• Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores

• Department stores

• Sporting goods stores

• Book, craft, and music stores

The public is reminded to stay home if sick except to seek medical care, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and keep a six-foot distance between yourself and others. Fines for each violation of the health order are up to $500.

The Alabama Department of Public Health encourages the public to keep informed by visiting alabamapublichealth.gov. The ADPH toll-free hotline and e-mail address are as follows:

• COVID-19 General Information - 800-270-7268

Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily, and a language line is available for people who do not speak English.

• The COVID-19 General Information Email address - covid19info@adph.state.al.us

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation statewide at 888-264-2256. No medical advice is given on this line.

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