Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp plans to ease virus restrictions

FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2021, file photo, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp removes his face covering as he prepares to speak to reporters at the Macon State Farmers Market in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ATLANTA – Georgia’s governor says he plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions in the state.

Gov. Brian Kemp says that his administration will outline plans to rescind remaining coronavirus restrictions.

Those include capacity limits, restrictions on large-scale gatherings and dozens of safety guidelines for restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and other venues, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The move is a “critical step” in moving the state back to a normalcy, Kemp said. He points to recent declines of new infections and rising numbers of Georgians getting vaccinated.

“Georgians know the right thing to do,” Kemp said. “They know the value in best practices, but they also can’t wait to return to their normal life. Loosening these restrictions is the next critical step in that process, and it signals an even bigger light at the end of the tunnel.”

The changes are expected to take effect Thursday, the newspaper reported.

Georgia joins Texas, Mississippi and other states in easing their restrictions in recent weeks.