As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, governors are taking action to limit the spread of this disease. Business closures, designations of “essential” businesses, and restrictions on movement (e.g., stay at home/shelter in place orders, curfews, etc.) are measures that can be taken at the state or local level to protect individuals from public health threats while ensuring continuity of essential functions and critical workforces.
Governors possess significant powers and authority relating to the implementation of business closures, designations of businesses, and personal movement restrictions during emergency periods. The purpose of this memo is to share information about how governors are addressing freedom of movement in their states in response to COVID-19. Given these exigent circumstances and shifting dynamics, NGA recommends that governors, their advisors, and other state officials work closely with legal counsel and private sector partners when:
- 1) Considering and implementing business closure orders and personal movement restrictions;
- 2) Classifying “essential” businesses and/or personnel;
- 3) Coordinating with federal partners on guidance;
- 4) Collaborating with local partners on state-supported and locally implemented closures, where appropriate; and
- 5) Coordinating and collaborating with stakeholders upon the lifting of closures and designations
Updated April 13, 2020:
All NGA coronavirus memos can be found here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for current information on the status of COVID-19 In The United States, a list of actions states/territories have taken to address both the public health and economic impacts, and policy resources.