Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will lift a statewide shelter-in-place order for most of the state's residents on Friday.
Kemp told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday he felt the time was right to relax restrictions due to increases in testing and hospital capacity in the state.
Although Georgia's broad stay-at-home order expires at midnight local time, a new order will require "medically fragile and elderly" residents to continue sheltering in place through June 12. He also urged Georgians "to continue to stay home whenever possible" and to wear masks when in public.
Last week, Kemp announced some businesses, including hair salons and bowling alleys, would be allowed to continue operations, given that they adhere to "strict social distancing and sanitation rules."
Some, including President Donald Trump, have criticized the governor for moving too quickly. But Kemp told the Journal-Constitution residents "can have confidence" that the decision was made based on data and advice from the state's public health department.