Governor Greg Gianforte issued a new directive on Wednesday to replace several directives related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor’s instructions removed some restrictions on small businesses in Montana, including restrictions on business hours and capacity.
Gianforte said in the press release: “Small business owners in Montana have been working hard to create a safe environment for employees and customers while maintaining an open state. The new directive acknowledges the diversity of challenges that businesses face in this pandemic. And provide them with the flexibility to formulate and implement appropriate policies based on industry best practices.”
The directive replaced the 25-person restriction on public gatherings with simple guidance, that is, “Any public gatherings or activities should be managed in a way that meets the CDC social evacuation guidelines.”
Where industry best practices do not exist, the governor’s directive states that “such policies should be developed and implemented in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines.”
Gianforte also outlined ways to cancel the statewide mask authorization. First, the most vulnerable Montanans are being vaccinated. Second, the legislature has taken a measure on his desk to protect businesses and schools from lawsuits if they make sincere efforts to protect individuals from the spread of the coronavirus and follow clear public health guidelines.
The new guidelines will take effect at 5 a.m. on Friday, January 15. Click here to read the full document.
Gianfort said: “Improving the response to the pandemic is my top priority.” “Today, I issued a new directive that deletes or replaces the cumbersome level of existing directives. These new directives are clear. They are very practical. They are common sense. And they are easy to understand.”