1. When does the City’s temporary curfew begin?
The temporary curfew went into effect at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25.
2. How long will the curfew be in effect?
The curfew will expire on its own after 60 days unless City Council takes additional action.
3. What is considered the Central Business District?
4. Are there any exceptions to the curfew?
The following categories of workers are exempted and free to travel and carry out their duties:
• Workers identified as Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers by the Department of Homeland Security. A list of those workers is found here: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce
• To the extent they are not otherwise included, police officers, firefighters, active duty military, healthcare providers and public works and utility workers employed by the City, County, State and Federal governments.
The City’s curfew ordinance also exempts workers identified as essential by the State of South Carolina. To date, the State has not formally identified those individuals. The City will refer to the list provided by the Department of Homeland Security and will recognize any additional exempt workers should the State identify them in the future.
5. Do food delivery people fall under the exemptions to the curfew?
Yes. Food delivery people are considered Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers by the Department of Homeland Security under the Food and Agriculture category.
6. Are customers allowed to come inside the restaurant to order and pay for a take-out order?
Yes; however, it is recommended that restaurants encourage customers to contact them ahead of time to place their order to limit the amount of time they are spending in the building.
7. Are customers allowed to eat/drink on the restaurant’s patio or in other sidewalk/outdoor dining areas?
No. Outdoor service of food or drinks is prohibited.
8. A 60-day restriction seems extreme – why didn’t the City start with 14 days and see how it goes?
The executive order is for 60 days; however, the restriction on restaurants, bars, nightclubs and breweries is effective through March 31. The City may be able to scale back other restrictions if there is a radical change in national circumstances.
9. Why is providing take-out service safer than serving customers in the restaurant if our employees are using proper hygiene and practicing social distancing?
Public health officials recommend limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people at all times. Providing take-out and/or delivery service limits interactions to person-to-person contact.
10. Is this restriction only for restaurants, bars and breweries in the city limits or throughout Greenville County?
Any restrictions enacted by Greenville City Council are for the city of Greenville only; however, Governor McMaster has issued an executive order prohibiting inside service at all restaurants and bars, so the restriction now applies to everyone in SC.
11. Does the restaurant restriction apply to food trucks?
Food truck owners can continue to operate; however, customers cannot remain on-site to consume their food.
12. Does the restaurant restriction apply to private event venues?
A private event venue with its own kitchen on the premises is most likely considered a retail food establishment for the purposes of the Governor’s executive order and the City’s emergency ordinance and it would not be permitted to serve food on the premises at a special event. An event venue without a kitchen on the premises is not considered a retail food establishment and is not subject to the restrictions of the Governor’s order regarding bars and restaurants. However, an unauthorized gathering of more than 3 people may be disbanded if law enforcement determines the gathering is a public health risk. The City strongly encourages any event scheduled for a private event venue be rescheduled after the Governor’s and Council’s emergency orders are no longer in place.
13. Can a hotel provide “to go” meals inside of the hotel?
Yes, hotels may provide meals to be either delivered or taken to a guest’s room.
14. Are there any restrictions on liquor/packaging stores?
No. Liquor and packaging stores are not establishments affected by the emergency ordinance or the Governor’s executive order.
15. Can restaurants provide alcohol to-go?
Any business with an On-Premises Beer/Wine Permit is authorized to sell beer and wine to-go. Customers may enter the business or walk up to a curb or window to purchase beer and wine to-go. Normally, the sale of alcohol at a drive-up or drive-thru location is prohibited by law. In order to support food and beverage service businesses, the Department of Revenue has temporarily suspended that prohibition which will allow restaurants and other holders of On-Premises Beer/Wine Permits to deliver beer and wine at drive-up or drive-thru location. Liquor may never be sold for off-premises consumption by a bar or restaurant, whether in a container with an original seal or in a drink. Read more about this development at https://dor.sc.gov/resources-site/lawandpolicy/Advisory%20Opinions/IL20-5.pdf.
16. Are salons, barbershops and other similar businesses allowed to continue operating?
Yes; however, individuals should consider whether the services they receive at a salon or barbershop or other businesses are essential at this time.
17. What happens if a business doesn’t comply with the City’s restrictions?
Violation of the City’s emergency ordinances or other lawful order in place, including the Governor’s orders, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100 and/or up to 30 days in jail. Every effort will be made to bring violators into voluntary compliance and police will issue citations as a last resort. Additionally, businesses generating a high number of calls to police for failure to comply with the emergency ordinance may be subject to suspension or revocation of their business license.
18. Is there anything the City can do to help the owners of the restaurants, bars and breweries?
The City is deferring deadlines for payment of new business licenses and business license renewals. The City is also suspending penalties for late payment of local accommodations fees and hospitality tax for the reporting periods due March 20, 2020 and April 20, 2020. If filed with the City by the appropriate due dates, payments will not accrue a late penalty until May 21, 2020.
Additionally, the City is hosting a Community Resource Guide (https://www.greenvillesc.gov/COVID-19-Community) to allow local businesses to share deals, promotions or new offerings.
19. Are there any resources available for business owners and people who are out of work due to government-mandated closures?
United Way’s 211 Information Line is establishing a COVID-19 Hotline with information on available resources: https://www.unitedwaygc.org/211 or citizens can dial 2-1-1.
U.S. Small Business Administration: Offering low interest loans to small businesses. South Carolina’s businesses can apply online at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
For employees who need assistance with unemployment claim:
SC Department of Employment and Workforce: www.dew.sc.gov
The SC Works GREENVILLE office is located at:
Greenville/McAlister Square Center-225 South Pleasantburg Drive
Greenville, SC 29607
Department of Labor – good resource for employers and their employees:
Center for Disease Control: info updated frequently
Scroll to ‘Resources for the Community’
SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for up-to date info on steps that various licensing boards are taking related to COVID-19:
20. Why hasn’t Haywood Mall been ordered to close?
Haywood Mall is closed until March 29.
21. Have traffic-related court cases been postponed?
Greenville Municipal Court will be rescheduling court dates. Anyone with a court date for an appearance at Greenville Municipal Court can go to https://citycourt.greenvillesc.gov/public-portal/ and search either by ticket number or name to see their new court date. If the court date has NOT been changed and falls within the month of March, contact Greenville Municipal Court at [email protected] for information about your new court date.
22. Should churches suspend services for the near future?
Presuming most churches would have an attendance of 50 or more people, churches are strongly encouraged to move their services and other gatherings to an online format until the emergency orders and ordinances are no longer in effect.
23. Can landlords evict renters who are unable to pay their rent during this health crisis?
No. Greenville County Magistrate Court has stayed all eviction proceedings. Foreclosure proceedings have been stayed as well: https://www.sccourts.org/courtOrders/displayOrder.cfm?orderNo=2020-03-18-01
24. Can weddings and receptions still take place in a church?
Yes, if catered by a third party.
25. Is the City restricting private events on private property if over 50 people? Even if there is no permit (i.e. an event venue)?
Only where a city-issued permit is required. The City’s emergency ordinance authorizes the City Manager to deny, cancel or revoke City-issued permits for events involving gatherings of more than 10 persons as long as the emergency ordinance is in effect. Examples are Group Event and Special Event licenses to serve alcohol.