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The Governor's "Home or Work" Order

Posted by: Jason Zacher on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Yesterday at 5 p.m., the Governor's mandatory "Home-or-Work Order" was enacted to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The new order makes no changes to the list of non-essential businesses that must close. The order does requires all residents limit movement outside of their home unless they are engaged in essential businesses, essential activities, or critical infrastructure operations. Additionally, the order requires retail businesses that have not been deemed non-essential below to limit customers to no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet or 20 percent of occupancy limit as determined by the fire marshal, whichever is less. The Home-or-Work Order is effective until the Governor determines the end of the State of Emergency. Violations of the order is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of up to $100 or imprisonment for up to 30 days.

If a business is not explicitly addressed in the governor's executive order, the business should continue normal operations until a determination is made. If a business has a question as to whether they qualify as essential, they should complete the Essential Business Clarification form located on the South Carolina Department of Commerce website, which will be easily accessible on the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s website.

Questions can also be sent to, or businesses can call 803-734-2873. The Department of Commerce will review the business’s request for clarification, and the business will receive a response with their determination, essential or non-essential, within 24 hours.

The Department of Commerce stressed that this does NOT prohibit the continued operation of retail stores, even if they are listed below, for the limited purpose of fulfilling online or telephone orders or providing alternate means of purchasing or delivering products or services – to include curbside purchase, pickup or delivery and home or off-site delivery - provided that such options or measures can be implemented in a manner that facilitates and maintains effective "social distancing" and is consistent with any applicable guidance issued by state and federal public health and safety officials. 

Essential Activities Include:

  • Caring for or visiting family
  • Obtaining necessary goods and services for household consumption and use (like groceries)
  • Seeking medical care for persons and pets
  • Engaging in outdoor recreational activities using six feet social distancing
  • Attending a religious service

Critical Infrastructure Operations Include:

  • Individuals operating commercial vehicles transporting essential goods & products
  • Individuals performing essential services identified by the US Cyber-security & Infrastructure Security Agency's Guidance, including amendments thereto, for continued critical infrastructure viability.

Non-Essential businesses that will be closed as a result of the governor's executives order are as follows:

Entertainment venues and facilities as follows:

  • Night clubs
  • Bowling alleys
  • Arcades
  • Concert venues
  • Theaters, auditoriums, and performing arts centers
  • Tourist attractions (including museums, aquariums, and planetariums)
  • Racetracks
  • Indoor children’s play areas (excluding daycare facilities)
  • Adult entertainment venues
  • Bingo halls
  • Venues operated by social clubs

Recreational and athletic facilities and activities as follows:

  • Fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms
  • Spas and public or commercial swimming pools
  • Group exercise facilities, to include yoga, barre, and spin studios or facilities
  • Spectator sports
  • Sports that involve interaction with another person in close proximity and within less than six (6) feet of another person
  • Activities that require the use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment
  • Activities on commercial or public playground equipment 

Close-contact service providers as follows:

  • 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, with the exception of hardware and home-improvement stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Book, craft and music stores
  • Flea markets
  • Florists and flower stores


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