This week we took another important step to rebuild and restore jobs and continue our state’s economic recovery. As Tennessee’s health numbers continue to improve with the wide availability of the vaccine, Gov. Lee announced the end of statewide public health orders and signed Executive Order 80 to address economic and regulatory functions Tuesday. EO 80 ends local authority to issue mask requirements in the 89 counties directed by the state health department.
Additionally, the Tennessee Pledge business guidelines issued at the start of the pandemic are now officially retired. Tennessee was one of the first states to issue guidelines for businesses. I’m grateful to the members of the Economic Recovery Group/Unified Command and the collaboration with our business and health leaders under Gov. Lee’s leadership that produced those thorough plans to help Tennesseans get back to work more quickly and provide for their families. We created a blueprint that was truly best-in-class.
As we look ahead to National Travel and Tourism Week next week, we are ready to celebrate your hard work and resilience. We already know the Power of Travel, and this past year accentuated just how important leisure and hospitality is to our state’s economic health. We are optimistic about the state of our industry and eager to welcome visitors back into our communities. Even so, there is work ahead of us as we face a severe labor shortage. In the days to come, we’ll be working with you and our state leadership including Commissioner Jeff McCord and the team at Labor and Workforce Development to address this challenge on many fronts.
It is because of your hard work that we are now in a place where we can even further focus efforts on our industry’s economic future. I am thankful for your partnership and resilience over the last many months as we worked together to battle the pandemic and we, as the Department of Tourist Development, look forward to working with all of you to accelerate our industry’s recovery.
Commissioner, Tourist Developmen