October 25, 2020

Volume X, Number 299


October 23, 2020

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South Carolina Begins to Reopen

outh Carolina has joined the growing number of states that have begun to reopen their economies following weeks of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. On May 1, 2020, Governor Henry McMaster announced that he would lift certain mandatory provisions of his April 6, 2020, statewide “home or work” order and the state would restore health and safety standards to voluntary status effective May 4, 2020. Governor McMaster issued Executive Order No. 2020-31 confirming these changes on May 3, 2020.

Specifically, the new executive order lessens restrictions concerning individuals’ movements outside their places of residence. The governor has substituted the following voluntary language for the mandatory language present in his April 6, 2020, “home or work” order:

I hereby urge any and all residents and visitors of the State of South Carolina to limit social interaction, practice “social distancing” in accordance with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] guidance, and take every possible precaution to avoid potential exposure to, and to slow the spread of, COVID-19, and further encourage residents and visitors of the State of South Carolina to limit their movements outside of their [Residence] … for purposes of engaging in Essential Business, Essential Activities, or Critical Infrastructure Operations ….

Previously, South Carolina residents and visitors were required to practice such limitations and precautions.

Other aspects of the “home or work” order, however, remain in effect, including the closures of what are still deemed “non-essential” businesses (i.e., entertainment venues and facilities, recreational and athletic facilities and activities, and close-contact service providers). Governor McMaster had previously removed retail establishments from the list of non-essential businesses on April 20, 2020.

Under Executive Order No. 2020-31, effective May 4, 2020, restaurants throughout South Carolina may provide outdoor customer dining service in addition to existing takeout, curbside, and delivery services. If restaurants choose to open for outdoor seating, they should adhere to applicable health and safety guidelines for their employees and guests, along with requirements provided by the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Restaurants that currently have not implemented outdoor seating and choose to utilize open areas and/or temporary tents also must adhere to the guidelines.

Through a separate executive order, the governor also lifted two previous executive orders, effective immediately:

  • Executive Order 2020-14. Individuals traveling to South Carolina from CDC-identified hot spots with substantial community spread of COVID-19 will no longer require self-quarantine for two weeks.

  • Executive Order 2020-19. Short-term rentals, vacation rentals, and other lodging accommodations will be allowed to accept new reservations from individuals traveling from CDC-identified hot spots.

Other stages of the state’s movement to reopen are expected soon. As businesses plan and begin to reopen, they may want to consider guidance for ensuring safe workplaces and complying with applicable local, state, and federal laws.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 127



About this Author

Phillip A. Kilgore Employment Litigation Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart Greenville, SC
Office Managing Shareholder

Phillip Kilgore has been in the practice of litigation and labor and employment law in the Greenville office of Ogletree Deakins since 1986.

Phillip has extensive litigation experience, representing clients in state and federal courts and administrative tribunals. He has handled a wide range of cases from traditional employment discrimination claims to tort claims and from environmental claims to shareholder derivative actions and minority shareholder disputes.

Phillip also is an expert in advising clients on the protection of business assets and litigating acts of...

S. Michael Nail Employment Litigation Attorney Ogletree Deakins Greenville, SC

Michael embraces challenges and enjoys assisting clients navigate unique legal issues. Michael represents employers in a variety of labor & employment litigation, including suits under Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, the FLSA, and other anti-discrimination laws and employment-related torts. Michael also counsels managers and human resources professionals on day-to-day employment matters. Michael also maintains a niche practice by defending the interests of clients in all aspects of workers’ compensation claims before the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.

In addition to the Labor and Employment practice for which the firm is well known, Michael also represents the interests of clients in construction litigation, and a variety of other general litigation matters. Michael ensures client responsiveness and effectively manages a litigation team best suited for the client’s needs.

Michael, a native of Greenville, received his undergraduate degree in business from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business. While in law school, Michael gained a variety of experiences, including a clerkship with Magistrate Judge James R. Klindt of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the South Carolina Office of the Attorney General. Michael was also an active participant on the nation’s top-ranked moot court team, winning Second Best Oral Advocate Overall in a spring 2013 national competition.

Outside of work, Michael enjoys cheering on the Gamecocks, taking on a variety of fitness challenges, and spending time with his wife, Sarah, and their four children.

Practice Groups

  • Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Wage and Hour