SC Lifts Mandatory ‘Stay at Home’ Order on May 4, Allows Limited Outdoor Restaurant Dining

May 1, 2020

Less than a week after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued Executive Order 2020-29, extending the “state of emergency” status, he announced on May 1 that the state would rescind the current “Stay at Home” orders and return to voluntary status effective May 4.

Restaurants throughout the state will be permitted to host outdoor dining beginning Monday.

For restaurants with prior-approved outdoor seating areas:

  • tables must be spaced at least 8 feet apart
  • tables are limited to groups of 8
  • gatherings at points of ingress/egress are prohibited
  • social/physical distancing guidelines must be strictly adhered to
  • tables and chairs/seats must be sanitized after each customer

For establishments that do not have prior approval for outdoor seating, open areas and/or temporary tents may be utilized, provided the above-mentioned requirements are satisfied in addition to:

  • all sides of tents must be open air
  • a state-approved fire extinguisher must be within 75 feet of the tent area
  • a minimum 90-inch ceiling height

The Governor’s office continues to “strongly urge” at-risk persons to limit exposure to others and for all to prioritize travel between home and work, although beginning on May 4 there will be no formal order precluding or limiting travel. The Governor’s statement suggests that economic considerations were the primary motivation for lifting the prior orders.