Tennessee Governor Issues Order Urging Residents to Stay Home

Date   Mar 31, 2020

Summary: Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order No. 22 on Monday, March 30, 2020, urging all Tennesseans to stay at home as much as possible except for engaging in essential activities, like obtaining food, supplies, or medical care. The Order stops short of ordering residents to stay at home. Governor Lee’s Order only closes non-essential businesses as to access or use by the public. Those businesses are instead encouraged to provide delivery or curbside service. The Order is effective at 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2020 and shall remain in effect until April 14, 2020.

What activities are allowed?

The Order urges Tennesseans to stay home except for the purposes of:

  • Engaging in activities essential to a person's health and safety or the health and safety of family or household members;
  • Obtaining necessary services or supplies for persons and their family or household members, including groceries and food, household consumer products, supplies required to work from home, and automobile supplies;
  • Providing, facilitating, or receiving delivery or curbside carry-out delivery of online or telephone orders from businesses;
  • Engaging in outdoor activities, like walking, hiking, running, biking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, golf, tennis, or other sports or recreational activities that can be performed while maintaining distancing precautions;
  • Caring for or visiting a family member, friend, or pet in another household, or transporting or traveling with family members, friends, or pets;
  • Visiting a place of worship or attending a wedding or funeral; provided, that health guidelines are followed to the greatest extent practicable;
  • Engaging in essential travel.

What is an Essential Business?

  • Food and medicine stores
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
  • Financial institutions and insurance entities
  • Hardware and supply stores
  • Building and construction trades
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for off-premises consumption
  • Professional services (legal, accounting, insurance, and real estate)
  • Manufacturing, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries
  • Hotels and motels

If you have any questions regarding this Alert, please contact the authors, Mark Stamelos,,  or Max Smith,, lawyers in the Nashville office of FordHarrison, LLP. Of course, you may also contact the FordHarrison attorney with whom you usually work. Please click here for links to other mandates issued by states and major municipalities.

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