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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced Monday that the state’s Safer at Home order will expire April 30, and the state will begin reopening its economy.

Lee said most businesses in the state will be allowed to open May 1 and some as early as April 27, but he stressed that protective measures must continue.

“Social distancing must continue, but our economic shutdown cannot,” Lee said. “While I am not extending the safer at home order past the end of April, we are working directly with our major metropolitan areas to ensure they are in a position to reopen as soon and safely as possible. Social distancing works, and as we open up our economy, it will be more important than ever that we keep social distancing as lives and livelihoods depend on it.”

This new policy applies to all counties except Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan because they have their own health departments separate from the state. Lee says he will work with those counties as they plan their own strategies to begin reopening. That means the majority of counties can get businesses up and running again.

“These businesses will open according to specific guidance that we will provide in accordance with state and national experts in both medicine and business,” Gov. Lee said.

Tipton County Mayor Jeff Huffman is part of a task force that’s helping the governor decide what the restrictions might be. For example, businesses may only be allowed to let a certain number of customers in at a time. Huffman said there are many different types of businesses, and one size won’t fit all.

“There’s no way to adhere to a social distancing rule if you’re a barber or hair salon,” he said. “There may have to be additional restrictions where both the barber and the customer are wearing a mask.”

He said he’s prepared to loosen or tighten restrictions based on the flow of COVID-19 cases.

“This is going to be like a dimmer switch, not like an on and off light,” Huffman said. “We don’t want to open too early or be too dramatic to the point where this thing could have a second wave that’s worse than the first.”

Kevin Thornton, owner of Atoka Fitness Center, said he’s eager to open back up as soon as possible because his savings are dwindling.

“I’ve had a lot of time to sit at home from an unpaid vacation,” he said.