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VERIFY: Must restaurants comply with Gov. Kemp's executive order?

Governor Kemp's August 1st order says restaurants and dining services that remain open must limit workers and customers' exposure to COVID-19.

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. — Our team has been getting questions about health inspections, and if those inspections reflect whether restaurants are abiding by the COVID-19 guidelines.

Eric Thomas, owner of Jonah's on Johnston in Forsyth, says whether or not the order affects his inspections, he will still abide by the rules to keep people safe.

"We're not wanting to fight anybody on this, we're not thinking we know better than anyone else, so when someone tells me that something is safer than something else, I'm going to err on the side of safer," said Thomas.

Kemp's August 1 order says restaurants and dining services that remain open must limit workers' and customers' exposure to COVID-19. The order sets guidelines for doing that, such as reducing their capacity and spreading out tables.

Michael Hokanson with the North Central Health District says points will not be deducted from the inspection score if the restaurant is not abding by the order.

"Kemp's orders for restaurants, bars, and places that we would regulate fall outside of the Georgia food code, so if a restaurant or another food service provider is not following those specific measures, they don't get points taken off during their regular, general inspections," Hokanson said.

He also said people can report facilities to the health department if they're violating Kemp's executive order. The first offense will be a warning and the third offense can involve law enforcement.

We can verify that, no, Health inspection ratings for restaurants do not include compliance with Governor Kemp's executive order.

Thomas says that he will continue to keep his restaurant clean and safe to ensure that customers have a great, safe, experience.

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