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These resources – like the public health crisis itself – are constantly evolving and are only current as to the date of publication. This page was last updated on June 9, 2020.

For more up-to-date information on the relief programs available in Tennessee, we recommend that you visit the state's COVID-19 Resource website

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Description of Program and Relief

Guidelines for Reopening of Businesses and Guidelines for Nursing Homes, Places of Worship and Social Gatherings

The Governor of Tennessee has lifted previous orders requiring the closure of certain businesses provided that such businesses comply with the applicable reopening guidelines. The Governor’s Executive Order also outlines guidelines for and restrictions for social gatherings and the operation of places of worship and nursing homes in Tennessee.

The county health departments in the 6 counties with locally run county health departments (Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby, and Sullivan) have authority to issue orders or measures that permit or restrict to a different degree (than the measures summarized below) the opening, closure, or operation of businesses, organizations, or venues, or the gathering of persons, except for in the case of places of worship. Individuals living in these counties should consult their local health departments about any such orders.

Businesses Permitted to Re-Open: Persons, businesses and organizations are encouraged to return to work while following to the greatest extent practicable the Health Guidelines and operational guidance issued by the Governor’s Economic Recovery Group, which are available here.

Bars, night clubs, and limited service restaurants, may only serve customers seated at tables and must follow the Economic Recovery Group Guidelines for restaurants in doing so (available here). Such establishments may offer drive-through, pickup, carry-out, or delivery service for food or drink.

Social Gatherings: To ensure appropriate social distancing for the purposes of social or recreational gatherings, including, but not limited to, festivals, fairs, parades, large parties or picnics, sporting events and activities, summer youth camps, and other types of social or recreational assemblies or gatherings, persons must practice social distancing to the greatest extent practicable and shall not in any event be in a group of fifty (50) or more persons for the purposes of social or recreational activities or events. This limitation does not prohibit fifty (50) or more total persons from gathering in a single place or venue for an activity or event if they are in separate, otherwise permissible smaller groups that substantially maintain six ( 6) feet or more of separation from other persons or separate groups.

Contact sporting events and activities remain prohibited; provided, that collegiate and professional sporting events and activities may be conducted if permitted by, and pursuant to, the rules or guidelines of their respective governing bodies. Noncontact sporting events and activities, and spectating for such events and activities, are permissible subject to social distancing.

Guidelines for Nursing Homes: Nursing homes and similar facilities remain closed to visitors except if necessary to provide critical assistance or in order to visit residents receiving end-of-life care. Facilities should follow the guidelines for healthcare facilities available here.

Guidelines for Places of Worship, Weddings, and Funerals: These events are permitted and are not social gatherings for the purposes of the above restrictions. However, places of worship are strongly encouraged to follow the guidelines available here for in-person services and it is strongly recommended that the public celebration component of weddings and funerals be postponed or attended by close family members only.

Government or Lead Agency

Office of the Governor of Tennessee

Dates Available

Effective immediately.

Eligibility Requirements/Restrictions

See above.

Application Deadlines (If Applicable)


Contact for More Information


List of Additional Information

Please click here to read the Executive Order.

© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. This does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising. Past representations are no guarantee of future outcomes.

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