It’s been nearly four months since Arizona Governor Doug Ducey declared a public health emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, ultimately shuttering non-essential businesses throughout the state and leading to a significant increase in unemployment rates.
Residents were ecstatic to get back to work and their social lives when the stay-at-home order was lifted in mid-May and bars, restaurants, malls, barber shops, and hair salons were allowed to resume modified operations.
However, as cases began to trend upwards in June, some businesses have been found not to be in compliance with Arizona coronavirus business restrictions, leading to official reprimands and most recently, a complete shutdown of certain kinds of businesses until July 27. In spite of this, some businesses have vowed to stay open in direct defiance of the shutdown.
If you are an Arizona business owner and have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to understand what is expected of you in order to keep your customers and your business safe. Lerner and Rowe Law Group has compiled this guide to Arizona coronavirus business restrictions and what to do if you’ve been charged with a violation.
What Are the Arizona Coronavirus Business Restrictions?
Governor Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-36 requires all businesses to do the following:
- Promote healthy hygiene practices
- Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation practices
- Monitor for sickness
- Ensure physical distancing
- Require face coverings when physical distancing is not feasible
- Provide necessary protective equipment
- Allow for and encourage teleworking where feasible
- Provide plans, where possible, to return to work in phases
- Limit the congregation of groups of no more than 10 persons when feasible and in relation to the size of the location.
Additional details about Arizona coronavirus business restrictions can be found on the AZ Governor website.
On June 29, Executive Order 2020-43 was released to enhance business restrictions even further by pressing pause on Arizona’s reopening plan. As such, the following businesses were ordered to shut down immediately:
- Water parks
- Movie theaters
- Bars whose primary business is the sale of alcohol
Governor Ducey also banned all organized public events of more than 50 people with few exceptions. The executive order is in effect until at least July 27, at which point it may be subject to repeal, revision, or an extension.
What Happens if My Business Is in Violation of Coronavirus Restrictions?
The most recent Executive Order 2020-43 specifically gives local authorities the ability to “take immediate enforcement action against any business that fails to follow this Executive Order or any guidance issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services relating to COVID-19 for the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare up to and including summary suspension for any license that the business holds.”
Business owners who either refuse to uphold Arizona coronavirus business restrictions or who allow customers to violate social distancing or face covering mandates could face a class 1 misdemeanor charge and could be subject to the following punishments:
- Up to six months in jail
- Up to $2,500 in fines
- Up to three years probation
- Suspension or revocation of your business license
Because class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious criminal misdemeanor charge, business owners could also be looking at long-term consequences, including a criminal record and difficulty obtaining a business license again in the future.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
If you’ve been charged with violating Arizona coronavirus business restrictions legal assistance is available to you. The Arizona criminal defense lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Law Group are available 24/7 to assist those who have been charged criminally for violating Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Orders issued in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
With convenient locations in Tucson and Phoenix, our legal team is committed to protecting the rights of our clients. If you believe you have been wrongly charged with violating one of these Arizona business restrictions, call one of our offices at the numbers below to secure a free consultation with a member of our qualified staff.