Atlanta Mayor rolls back to Phase I of reopening city, governor refutes plan

Posted at 3:45 PM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 15:45:22-04

ATLANTA (ABC NEWS) -- Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who has risen to the national stage in recent months and is a candidate for vice president on Joe Biden's ticket, said she is rolling back the city's reopening plans, according to Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB.

The rollback to phase 1 would require people to shelter-in-place at their homes and only leave for essential tasks. The city had moved to phase 2 in late May, at the behest of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, which allowed for businesses to reopen with restrictions.

Kemp's office quickly released a statement saying the mayor had no authority to return to phase 1.

"Mayor Bottoms' action today is merely guidance -- both non-binding and legally unenforceable. As clearly stated in the Governor's executive order, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide," the governor's statement said. "Once again, if the Mayor actually wants to flatten the curve in Atlanta, she should start enforcing state restrictions, which she has failed to do."

"We ask citizens and businesses alike to comply with the terms of the Governor's order, which was crafted in conjunction with state public health officials," the statement added. "These common-sense measures will help protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians."

Bottoms herself tested positive for the virus earlier this week, but has shown few symptoms, she said.