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South Carolina's mandatory home or work order no longer in effect

The measure lifts what were mandatory requirements, instead turning them into voluntary requests.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A mandatory home or work order is no longer in effect in South Carolina but residents are still asked to use safety precautions to stop the spread of the virus.

As of 12:01 a.m. Monday, a new order by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster went into effect. If lifted the previous mandatory home or work order that had been in effect since April 6, instead making the home or work order voluntary. 

The new rules now means that is it no longer legally required for people to limit their movements to essential travel, either to get essential services or to go to work at an essential service. It also lifted penalties for any such violations.

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However, the rules do not mean people shouldn't social distance or limit movement at all; instead, the governor now only says he will "urge" people to do that. 

It's not the only easing of social distancing guidelines starting Monday. Also going into effect at 12:01 a.m. was an order which allows outdoor dining at restaurants. Indoor dining is still prohibited for now.

Here are the new rules on outdoor dining:

  • Tables are to be spaced a minimum of 8 feet from each other (measured from all edges of the table);
  • Limit table groups to 8 individuals;
  • Eliminate gatherings in the building when entering or exiting outdoor seating area;
  • Maintain strict social/physical distancing guidelines;
  • Tables, chairs, and seats should be sanitized after every customer

If open areas and/or temporary tents are utilized by existing, permitted restaurants, all sides of the tent must be open and the following conditions are required:

  • Tables are to be spaced a minimum of 8 feet from each other (measured from all edges of the table);
  • Table groups are to be limited to 8 individuals;
  • State approved fire extinguisher within 75 feet of tent area;
  • Minimum of 7-foot-6 inch head room (ceiling height)

The governor also announced on Friday a lifting of a ban on short term rental companies denying reservations for people from virus 'hotspots.' The governor has also lifted the executive order requiring individuals entering the state from the same “hotspots” to self-quarantine for two weeks.

“Our goal from the onset of this deadly pandemic has been to protect South Carolinians, but as we all know, the state’s economic health is a major component of the state’s public health,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “South Carolinians, now more than ever, should be vigilant in protecting themselves, their loved ones, and their communities by practicing social distancing and continuing to follow the advice and recommendations from our public health experts.”

McMaster has not yet said when close contact businesses, including beauty salons, barber shops, and nail salons, would open.