Updated: May 8, 2020

Some businesses in the State have been permitted to reopen if specific protocols are followed as set forth in the new Order. Retail establishments are permitted to open at no more than 25% of building occupancy. However, a fairly long list of businesses, mostly those which require close-contact or are centered around entertainment, must remain closed. Such businesses include barber shops, tattoo parlors, concert venues, bowling alleys, and theaters.

Executive Order

Executive Summary

The Alabama Executive Order requires all citizens living within the State to stay at home except for “essential activities” as defined in the Order, and requires all businesses and operations in the State, except “essential businesses and operations,” to cease all activities except minimum basic operations.  The Order incorporates the CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure list; however, the Order also lists 18 other “essential businesses and operations” and provides for designations by the AL Dept. of Public Health or Emergency Management Agency, as well as business in the supply chain to other essential businesses and operations.  Entertainment venues, athletic facilities and “close-contact service providers” are ordered closed to non-employees.  The order is relatively nonrestrictive as it allows individuals to gather for religious services and visit family members. Essential Businesses and Operations must follow certain social distancing requirements. Additionally, any “Essential Retailers” that are permitted to remain open in the Order are subject to more stringent social distancing requirements.

Summary of Order

  • Issued on April 3, 2020; Effective as of April 4, 2020 at 5:00 pm.
  • Terminates on April 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm.
  • The Order requires every person in Alabama to stay at home except where necessary to perform Essential Activities, including going to work at an Essential Business.
  • The Order does not prohibit people from accessing essential services or engaging in essential daily activities, including:
    • Obtaining necessary supplies
    • Obtaining or providing necessary services
    • Attending religious services
    • Taking care of others
    • Engaging in outdoor activities
    • Seeking shelter
    • Travel as required by law
    • Visiting family members
  • In addition to the CISA List, the following are deemed Essential Businesses and Operations:
    • Government operations
    • Healthcare
    • Infrastructure operations
    • Manufacturing facilities
    • Agricultural operations and farms
    • Essential retailers (subject to more stringent Social Distancing Requirements as set forth below)
      • Supermarkets
      • Liquor stores
      • Bookstores
      • Office supply stores
      • Building materials stores
      • Auto, bicycle, boat repair stores
      • Gun stores
    • Restaurants and bars (for take-out and delivery only)
    • Essential personal services
    • Media
    • Education operations
    • Financial services
    • Professional services
    • Providers of basic needs for disadvantaged individuals
    • Construction
    • Essential public services
    • Military
    • Essential services or product providers
      • Logistics
      • Transportation
      • Technology support
      • Medical waste disposal
      • Childcare programs
    • Religious entities
    • Other state-designated essential business and operations (as defined by specific State agencies)
    • Support operations for essential businesses and operations
  • Minimum Basic Operations means:
    • Maintaining the value of the business, including:
      • Managing inventory
      • Ensuring security
      • Processing payroll and benefits
    • Facilitating work from home activities.
    • Any work that does not require regular interaction of less than 6 feet.
  • The following businesses are required to close to non-employees:
    • Entertainment venues
    • Athletic facilities
    • Close-contact services providers

Social Distancing Requirements

Any Essential Retailer must:

  • Provide for an occupancy of no more than 50 percent of the normal occupancy load as determined by the fire marshal.
  • Not knowingly allow customer to congregate within 6 feet of one another.
  • Take reasonable steps to comply with guidelines on sanitation from the CDC and the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Essential Businesses and Operations must:

  • Avoid gatherings of 10 or more persons.
  • Maintain a consistent 6-foot distance between persons.


The Order supersedes and preempts any county and municipal orders or ordinances, whenever adopted, that purport to impose less stringent COVID-19-related curfew or quarantine measures.


Critical infrastructure sectors listed in CISA guidance (check list at link above for detailed list of worker functions):

  • Healthcare / Public Health
  • Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Other First Responders
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Energy — Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), Propane, and Other Liquid Fuels
  • Water and Wastewater
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services
  • Communications and Information Technology
  • Other Community- or Government-Based Operations and Essential Functions
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Financial Services
  • Chemical
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services
  • Hygiene Products and Services