Updated: May 13, 2020

The Governor began reopening certain sectors of businesses; however, any business that opens must adhere to certain minimum requirements and, if they are not able to meet such requirements, they must remain closed. Such businesses include: construction, manufacturing and distribution, office based businesses (provided that no more than 50% of employees are physically in the office on any given day), and vehicle dealerships.


(Emergency Executive Order 2020-257) 

Executive Summary

The Kentucky Executive Order requires all business and operations within the State, except “Life-Sustaining Business,” to cease all operations except Minimum Basic Operations and encourages citizens to remain at home or at their place of residence. The Order encompasses both the CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure list and additional categories of entities labeled as Life-Sustaining Businesses. All Life-Sustaining Businesses must ensure compliance with the social distancing and hygiene guidelines from the CDC and the Kentucky Department of Health. None of these prohibitions apply to virtual or telework operations.

Summary of Order

  • The Order was issued on March 25, 2020.
  • It takes effect March 26, 2020 at 8:00 pm and remains in effect for the duration of the State of Emergency.
  • All businesses and operations in the State, except for Life-Sustaining Business, are required to cease all activities except for Minimum Basic Operations and work that can be done at home or in their place of residence.
  • Minimum Basic Operations includes necessary activities such as: maintaining the value of the business inventory, preserving condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment, ensuring security, processing payroll and employee benefits, facilitating telecommuting, and other related functions.
  • The following are the categories of businesses, in addition to the CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure list, that are regarded as Life-Sustaining Businesses:
    • Life-sustaining retail (hardware stores, agricultural supplies, medical product supplies, etc)
    • Food, beverage, and agriculture
    • Organizations that provide charitable and social services
    • Media
    • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
    • Financial Services
    • Housing, Buildings and Construction
    • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
    • Laundry services
    • Restaurants for consumption off-premises
    • Supplies for Life-Sustaining Businesses
    • Transportation
    • Home-based care and services
    • Professional Services
    • Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries
    • Critical labor union functions
    • Hotels and motels
    • Funeral services

Social Distancing Requirements

  • Businesses permitted to operate as Life-Sustaining Businesses are required to follow social distancing requirements, including:
    • Designate six-foot distances;
    • Having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers.
    • Regularly cleaning touched objects and surfaces
    • Permitting employees to work from home when feasible
    • Asking sick employees to leave premise. Employers strongly encouraged to offer paid leave in such circumstances


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