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A COVID-19 sign is posted on the door of a packed bar. Students and Athens residents made their way downtown to the bars on Aug. 18, 2020 in Athens, Georgia. Beginning March 16, Georgia bars no longer have to adhere to capacity limits under the latest COVID-19 executive order issued by Gov. Brian Kemp (Photo/ Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

Beginning March 16, Georgia bars no longer have to adhere to capacity limits under the latest COVID-19 executive order issued by Gov. Brian Kemp.

The executive order lasts until March 31, unless otherwise noted by Kemp.

Since June 2020, bars and nightclubs were limited to 35% capacity, or maximum capacity of 50 patrons inside, whichever was greater.

Bars now follow the same set of COVID-19 requirements as restaurants — requiring workers to wear face coverings when interacting with patrons, redesigning seating arrangements for at least six feet between tables and establishing clear and unobstructed pathways for patrons.

The ease of restrictions come as vaccine rollout expands and there is wider availability for Georgians.

Shortly after returning from instructional break, University of Georgia students flocked to downtown Athens. Double Barrel Athens advertised 100% occupancy on its Instagram. Bourbon Street Athens captioned a post on its Instagram page, “That feeling when you no longer have to wait in line to get into your favorite bar!” Bar South Athens promoted a St. Patrick’s Day theme event by opening doors at 2 p.m. and having holiday themed drinks.

While coronavirus cases in the United States fall, vaccinated people may still contract COVID-19 and spread it to others, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.