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This will be the first weekend it is illegal to congregate in an Alabama church with more than 24 other people.

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
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Date: Mar 20 2020 9:10 PM

This will be the first weekend it is illegal to congregate in an Alabama church with more than 24 other people.



Yesterday at 5 p.m., a public health order closed Alabama’s beaches – but not everyone saw the news.

So officers from the Orange Beach Police Department informed everybody walking on the beach about the new restrictions.

“Basically, we are just telling people it’s in their best interests,” said Assistant Chief Robert Howard. “We’re being really polite about it and we haven’t had any problems with it.

But if they did have problems, the police have the power to arrest and fine people for violating the public health order. The same goes for those who have large gatherings, over 25 in most of the state and over 10 in Jefferson County. And those who consume food or drink on the premises of a restaurant or bar – all banned yesterday in the order from Gov. Kay Ivey.

Howard said the fine for a violation ranges from $25 to $300. If a person refused to comply, officers could make an arrest. Howard said he hopes it doesn’t come to that.

“We’re not just going out here to arrest them,” Howard said. “Mostly we are just trying to inform them, hey, if we don’t do this now, we’re looking at restrictions for the whole summer.”

If the courteous approach doesn’t work, governments can use more heavy-handed tactics. In Louisiana, a church pastor defied Gov. John Bel Edwards’ order limiting large gatherings by hosting more than 300 in his church Tuesday evening. Police appeared and threatened to bring in the National Guard, according to local news outlets.


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