COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Essential Businesses

Non-Essential Business Listing

The SC Emergency Management Division and the SC Department of Commerce have developed a list of industries deemed “non-essential” that closed temporarily effective Monday, April 6, 2020. “Non-essential” businesses, venues, facilities, services, activities and retail stores will be closed to non-employees and will not be open for access or use by the public or shall not take place. This includes businesses where access is limited and based on membership.

Effective Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 5 p.m., businesses not identified on the Non-Essential Businesses list below must limit the number of customers allowed to enter the premises, ensure social distancing and implement sanitation methods. The list of Non-Essential Businesses is as follows:
**Updated April 7, 2020**

1. Entertainment venues and facilities

  • Night clubs
  • Bowling alleys
  • Arcades
  • Concert venues
  • Theaters, auditoriums and performing arts centers
  • Tourist attractions (including museums, aquariums and planetariums)
  • Racetracks
  • Indoor children’s play areas
  • Adult entertainment venues
  • Bingo halls
  • Venues operated by social clubs

2. Recreational and athletic facilities and activities

  • Fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms
  • Spas and public or commercial swimming pools
  • Group exercise facilities (including yoga, barre and spin studios or facilities)
  • Spectator sports
  • Sports that involve interaction with another person in close proximity and within less than six (6) feet of another person
  • Activities that require the use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment
  • Activities on commercial or public playground equipment

3. Close-contact service providers

  • Barber shops
  • Hair salons
  • Waxing salons
  • Threading salons
  • Nail salons and spas
  • Body-art facilities and tattoo services
  • Tanning salons
  • Massage-therapy establishments and massage service

4. Retail stores 

  • Furniture and home-furnishings stores
  • Clothing, shoe and clothing-accessory stores
  • Jewelry, luggage and leather goods stores
  • Department stores, with the exception of hardware and home-improvement stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Book, craft and music stores
  • Flea markets
  • Florists and flower stores
  • This does NOT prohibit the continued operation of retail stores, as set forth above, for the limited purpose of fulfilling online or telephone orders or providing alternate means of purchasing or delivering products or services - to include curbside purchase, pickup or delivery and home or off-site delivery - provided that such options or measures can be implemented in a manner that facilitates and maintains effective "social distancing" and is consistent with any applicable guidance issued by state and federal public health and safety officials.  

Businesses not identified in the list above must limit the number of customers allowed to enter and simultaneously occupy the premises so as not to exceed five customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space, or 20% of the occupancy limit as determined by the fire marshal, whichever is less. Businesses must not knowingly allow customers to congregate within six feet of one another, exclusive of family units. Businesses must also implement all reasonable steps to comply with sanitation guidelines of the CDC, DHEC or any other state and federal public health officials.

Current Business Clarification Lists

Businesses are responsible for monitoring the issuance of Executive Orders that may alter their prior designation as "essential." These lists will be updated daily at 5 p.m.

Clarification List April 4, 2020 - April 14, 2020

The "essential" designation for the businesses included in the list below was clarified by SC Commerce prior to the April 3 issuance of Executive Order 2020-21 and, accordingly, may require further verification.

Clarification List through April 3, 2020

Current Business Clarification Lists

Businesses are responsible for monitoring the issuance of Executive Orders that may alter their prior designation as "essential." These lists will be updated daily at 5 p.m.

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If your business category is not addressed and/or you need further clarification, please complete the Clarification of Business Designation form.

Clarification of Business Designation Form »