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Non-Essential Businesses

Governor McMaster directed the closure of "Non-Essential" businesses with Executive Order No. 2020-17. Effective 5:00 pm on April 1, 2020, venues, facilities, services and activities for public use will close temporarily.

"Non-essential" businesses, venues, facilities, services, and activities 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. The list of Non-Essential Businesses as defined by the Governor is as follows:

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, with the exception of licensed childcare facilities
  • Adult entertainment venues
  • Bingo halls
  • Venues operated by social clubs

Recreational and Athletic Facilities and Activities

  • Fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms
  • Spas and public or commercial swimming pools
  • Group exercise facilities, to include 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

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 services

COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Essential Businesses

Clarification Assistance Provided by the SC Department of Commerce

If a business has a question as to whether they qualify as essential, they should complete the Essential Business Clarification form located on the South Carolina Department of Commerce website, which will be easily accessible on the SC Department of Commerce's website.

Questions can also be sent to, or business representatives can call 803-734-2873.

A team from South Carolina Department of Commerce will review the business's request for clarification, and the business will receive a response with their determination, essential or non-essential, within 24 hours.

Governor McMaster's Executive Order 2020-17 pdf icon

Governor McMaster's Executive Order 2020-18 pdf icon (Restrictions removed by Executive Order 2020-28)

Governor McMaster's Executive Order 2020-28 pdf icon

View the list of Essential Activities