Mayor Announces Major Changes to Emergency Orders, Opens More Businesses

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand today announced that Emergency Order 2020-16 has been modified extensively to rename business categories and announce a new phase of businesses to re-open in a safe and responsible manner.  The new emergency order, 2020-17 signed by City Manager Wilma Quan this afternoon, becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 and supersedes the previous Order.  It officially ends the City’s shelter-in-place order and reverts automatically to the State of California’s current stay-at-home orders, which have no set end date.

In addition, Emergency Order 2020-17 eliminates the categories of “Essential Businesses” and “Non-Essential Businesses,” and establishes all Fresno businesses as either “Authorized” or “Non-Authorized” to describe their status for public operations and access.  The second phase of the re-opening of Authorized Businesses begins May 26 and all businesses that are not specifically prohibited by the State may open their doors if they follow the state guidelines and the City of Fresno’s Appendix A: Social Distancing Protocol.

Restaurant dining rooms may open once the State of California approves Fresno County’s variance, which we have heard is happening today, and Fresno County publicizes the date on which they may open.

“I’ve heard you.  I’ve been working day and night to get businesses open and people back to work, but in the safest and most responsible manner possible.  I believe that our new Order allows the vast majority of businesses in the City of Fresno to open safely and responsibly,” said Mayor Brand.  “Our next job is to now figure out how to get the rest of our businesses open and people back to work and we’re starting that work today.”

All Authorized Businesses will be required to comply with the City’s new social distancing protocol to protect the health of their employees and the health of the vendors and customers who visit and shop there.  The Order also eliminates the guideline of allowing only one customer per 500 square feet and requires each business to determine safe occupancy that provides sufficient space to allow for social distancing, according to the updated Appendix A. 

Residents will only be required to wear cloth face coverings when entering businesses and government buildings, with the exception of children under the age of two (2) and individuals with disabilities and respiratory illnesses.  The City strongly recommends that residents wear cloth face coverings outside in public spaces where you can’t social distance.

The City of Fresno will continue to monitor public health indicators in the community and adjust the Authorized Business program as necessary.  If public health indicators substantially worsen, the City will take appropriate action.  If public health indicators stay flat or improve, the City could accelerate this program.

Emergency Order 2020-17 will be available on the City’s website at

For the latest information on all City-issued emergency orders and other coronavirus-related decisions, call 3-1-1 or visit the City of Fresno website at

We encourage you to visit to learn more about COVID-19 nationally, for information on coronavirus in California and to follow the Fresno County