COVID-19 Updates

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Travelers Rest City Council extends Emergency Face Mask Ordinance. Effective dates continuous from March 13 – May 12, 2021. View Emergency Mask Ordinance here.

Travelers Rest City Council extends Emergency Face Mask Ordinance through March 13, 2021. View Emergency Mask Ordinance here

Gov. Henry McMaster Takes Additional Action to Slow Virus Spread
Gov. Henry McMaster today announced that all previously recommended guidelines for restaurants and other establishments that attract groups of people are now mandatory. The governor’s Executive Order establishing these new measures goes into effect Monday, August 3.

Additionally, the governor continued his call for all South Carolinians to wear face coverings when appropriate, and he encouraged local governments to adopt face covering ordinances. The governor also ordered that face coverings must be worn in all state government buildings according to guidelines and procedures developed by the state Department of Administration, effective August 5th.

These guidelines for restaurants, first established by AccelerateSC, have been strongly recommended until now. They are now mandatory and include the following:
• Operating dine-in services at no more than 50% of the certificate of occupancy issued by the fire marshal.
• Employees and patrons shall be required to wear masks or face coverings.
• Tables are to be spaced to keep diners at least six feet apart.
• No more than 8 customers per table unless from the same family.
• Standing or congregating in bar area of restaurant is prohibited.
• Establishments that possess a state permit to sell alcohol shall be subject to these restrictions.

Other types of businesses, facilities, venues, events or mass gatherings which are permitted to open but are required to implement AccelerateSC guidelines include the following: festivals, parades, concerts, theaters, stadiums, arenas, coliseums, auditoriums, grandstands, amphitheaters, gymnasiums, concert halls, dance, halls, performing arts centers, parks, racetracks, or similarly operated entities. These guidelines include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Attendance may not exceed 50% of the certificate of occupancy issued by the fire marshal – or 250 persons – whichever is less.
• Require the wearing of masks or face coverings as a condition of admission or participation
• Enact social distancing, cleaning and hygiene practices as recommended by AccelerateSC
• End the sale of alcohol at 11:00 PM


Travelers Rest City Council extends Face Mask Emergency Ordinance. Effective dates continuous from July 18, 2020- November 15, 2020

FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2020

Ordinance goes into effect Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 6 pm

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Upstate, city council members voted 5-2 to approve an ordinance requiring the use of face masks. To download the ordinance click HERE.


  • All customers are required to wear face coverings while inside the enclosed area of any Grocery Store or Pharmacy
  • All retail establishments shall require staff to wear face coverings while working in areas open to the general public and areas in which interactions with other staff are likely in which social distancing of at least six feet cannot be observed
  • All food service establishments shall require staff who interact with customers (including, without limitation, delivery personnel) to wear face coverings while working

Retail establishments include any retail business, organization, establishment, or facility open to the public within city limits.

  • grocery stores, convenience stores, and any other establishment engaged in the retail sale of non-prepared food
  • commercial stores engaged in the retail sale of goods or services including sporting goods stores; furniture and home-furnishings stores; clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores; jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores; department stores; hardware and home-improvement stores; book, craft, and music stores; florists and flower stores; and all other stores that sell supplies for household consumption or use
  • pharmacies and other stores that sell medications or medical supplies
  • alcoholic beverage stores
  • laundromats

Food service establishments include any establishment within city limits that sells prepared food on a dine-in, delivery, carry-out, or drive-through basis.


Face coverings shall not be required:

  • In outdoor or unenclosed areas appurtenant to retail or food service establishments in which social distancing of at least six feet is possible and observed
  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering
  • For those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition
  • For children under four (4) years old
  • For patrons of food service establishments while they are dining
  • In private, individual offices
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including dental services or while swimming
  • While exclusively with members of a family or the same household, and no person other than such family or household is within the same enclosed area

To download the ordinance click HERE.

FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2020
To help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 between young adults in South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster today announced that the sale of alcoholic beverages in all bars and restaurants throughout the state will be prohibited after 11:00 PM each night. The governor’s order will go into effect Saturday, July 11 at 11:00 PM.

The governor’s order does not apply to alcohol sold at convenience or grocery stores, wine and liquor stores, or retail business.  The governor’s order does apply to any holder of the following licenses: On-Premises Beer and Wine Permit, Winery Permit, Brewpub Beer/Wine Permit, Brewery Permit, Business Liquor by the Drink License, Non-Profit Private Club Liquor by the Drink License, Special Event Permit, or Special Non-Profit Event Permit.

FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2020
Governor McMaster issues executive order amending the state of emergency order allowing bowling alleys to reopen and is lifting restrictions on the occupancy of retail establishments in the coronavirus pandemic.

The City of Travelers Rest is still subject to all statewide executive orders issued by the Governor and SC is still operating under a State of Emergency. Below are the main points of the latest changes to these executive orders which may be viewed at

South Carolinians Urged to Help Reduce the Spread of COVID-19
In the best interest of the health of all South Carolinians, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), S.C. Hospital Association (SCHA), S.C. Medical Association (SCMA) and S.C. Office of Rural Health (SCORH) issue the following joint statement:

DHEC, SCHA, SCMA and SCORH have come together to strongly urge all South Carolinians to actively help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of our fellow residents by practicing physical social distancing and properly using face masks.

There is rapidly growing medical evidence that the use of face masks along with social distancing can greatly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in public spaces and places where people at higher risk of severe illness and death from this virus are likely to be present.

Phase Two Restaurants Opening Recommendations
Phase two recommendations for opening restaurants was released. Review the latest guidelines here.

Cares Act Recommendations
Governor Henry McMaster released his recommendations to the South Carolina General Assembly for how the state’s share of federal CARES Act funds should be invested. Read more here.

MONDAY, MAY 11, 2020
City Hall will open to the Public on May 11th.  The lobby and public restrooms will be open to customers/citizens, but we will restrict public access to employee areas, conference rooms etc. All other building, facilities, meeting rooms, etc. will remain closed to the public through May.

When You Visit:
In-person customer service will be handled through the glass windows in the front lobby.  The front lobby service windows will remain closed when assisting customers and opened as necessary to accept paperwork, documents, payment, etc.

  • Visitors must enter the building through the door that is nearest the parking lot off Old Buncombe Road
  • To exit the building please use the door facing Trailblazer Drive
  • There will be directional signage and tape on floor in the lobby to ensure safe movement
  • Tape on the floor will mark every six-foot to ensure social distancing protocol
  • Hand sanitizer will be available

Doing Business Online, by Phone 0r Email:
To minimize in-person interactions, we encourage residents and customers to process applications, requests, etc. via:

Most Requested Forms
Below you will find links to download commonly requested forms. Forms not listed below may be found HERE. If you do not see the form that you need or have questions please contact Renee Smouse at [email protected].

Plan review application
Sign permit application
Special event permit application
Business license application 
Freedom of Information Act Application
Electrical Permit Application
Plumbing Permit Application
Mechanical permit applications

What We’re Doing To Protect You and Our Employees:

  • Employees will wear a mask when in close contact (within 6 feet) of a customer when not separated by glass
  • Doors will be wiped with a sanitizer often and sanitizer wipes will be available near entrance and exits
  • Our staff will be wiping and sanitizing office machines and hands before and after use
  • The public water cooler will be wiped often throughout the day
  • All horizontal surfaces, light switches and trash cans will be sanitized regularly in public or common areas
  • Carpets and hard surface floors will be misted with TB-Cide Quat

Current Limitations:
Administration will not accept walk-in meetings or conduct in-person meetings.  We will continue to use Zoom Video Conference for external meetings and Council meetings through May.  The city will reassess the situation and modify limitations as needed.

TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2020
The City is still subject to all statewide executive orders issued by the Governor and SC is still operating under a State of Emergency. Below are the main points of the latest changes to these executive orders which may be viewed at

Click here to read the SC Restaurant and Lodging Association Guidelines for reopening. 

  • The statewide “Work-or-Home” order was returned to voluntary status on Monday, May 4th.
  • The governor also announced that beginning on May 4th, restaurants throughout South Carolina may provide outdoor customer dining service in addition to existing take out, curbside, and delivery services.
  • The governor also announced that he has lifted Executive Order 2020-19 restricting short term rental companies from taking reservations.
  • The governor has also lifted Executive Order 2020-14, which required individuals entering the state from the same “hotspots” to self-quarantine for two weeks.

MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2020
Today in Executive Order 2020-28, SC Governor Henry McMaster cancelled his April 3 order restricting additional retail businesses, such as department, craft, book and jewelry stores, from operating, effective at 5:00 p.m. April 20, 2020. 

Retail businesses included in the initial order and now allowed to have customers shop in their stores are: 

(a) Furniture and home-furnishings stores
(b) Clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores
(c) Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores
(d) Department stores, with the exception of hardware and home-improvement stores
(e) Sporting goods stores
(f) Book, craft, and music stores
(g) Flea markets
(h) Florists and flower stores 

The Governor stated that those businesses are still subject to the same requirements as essential businesses. From the order, these are the requirements for the retail businesses reopening:

  1. Emergency Maximum Occupancy Rate. The business shall limit the number of customers allowed to enter and simultaneously occupy the premises so as not to exceed five (5) customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space, or twenty percent (20%) of the occupancy limit as determined by the fire marshal, whichever is less. 
  1. Social Distancing Practices. The business shall not knowingly allow customers, patrons, or other guests to congregate within six (6) feet of one another, exclusive of family units. 
  1. Sanitation. The business shall implement all reasonable steps to comply with any applicable sanitation guidelines promulgated by the CDC, DHEC, or any other state or federal public health officials.

“Home or Work” and capacity limits for retail businesses
From the office of SC Governor Henry McMcaster:

On Monday, April 6, Governor Henry McMaster issued Executive Order 2020-21, which includes a mandatory “Home or Work” order and mandates capacity limitations to retail businesses still operating. The governor’s “Home or Work” order went into effect Tuesday, April 7 A am to 5:00 pm.

As indicated in the executive order, permitted travel includes commuting for work, visiting family, and obtaining essential goods or services. The order will not impact any individual’s ability to exercise outdoors or go for a walk as a family, but everyone should act responsibly and practice social distancing and proper personal hygiene.

The governor has also ordered that all retail businesses still operating limit customer activity by only allowing five customers per 1000 square feet or 20% of their posted capacity in a store, whichever is less.

Update on Face Coverings

On Friday, April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released recommendations regarding the use of cloth face coverings. While these measures are optional, they may help reduce the spread of the virus. They are not intended to replace social distancing and hand washing recommendations which people must continue to use to protect themselves.

Visit the CDC’s page: Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 for patterns for making homemade masks – including “no-sewing” patterns, fitting instructions and more info.

More links from SC DHEC:

Protect Yourself & Those Around You
What To Do If You Feel Sick
Mental Health Care

SC Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-17 – Closure of Non-Essential Businesses
Effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at 5:00 p.m., the following “non-essential” businesses, venues, facilities, services, and activities shall be closed to non-employees and shall not be open for access or use by the public—to include members if access or use is ordinarily restricted to or based on membership—or shall not take place, as applicable:

  1. Entertainment venues and facilities as follows:
    1. Night clubs
    2. Bowling alleys
    3. Arcades
    4. Concert venues
    5. Theaters, auditoriums, and performing arts centers
    6. Tourist attractions (including museums, aquariums, and planetariums)
    7. Racetracks
    8. Indoor children’s play areas, with the exception of licensed childcare facilities
    9. Adult entertainment venues
    10. Bingo halls
    11. Venues operated by social clubs
  1. Recreational and athletic facilities and activities as follows:
    1. Fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms
    2. Spas and public or commercial swimming pools
    3. Group exercise facilities, to include yoga, barre, and spin studios or facilities
    4. Spectator sports
    5. Sports that involve interaction in close proximity to and within less than six (6) feet of another person
    6. Activities that require the use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment
    7. Activities on commercial or public playground equipment
  1. Close-contact service providers as follows:
    1. Barbershops
    2. Hair salons
    3. Waxing salons
    4. Threading salons
    5. Nail salons and spas
    6. Body-art facilities and tattoo services
    7. Tanning salons
    8. Massage-therapy establishments and massage services

The Latest State and Federal Guidance from SC DHEC. Visit for more information.

What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing means staying home as much as possible, staying at least 6 feet away from other people while in public, and avoiding gatherings with many people present. Everyone should wash their hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. These are the best ways to protect yourself and our communities from the spread of COVID-19. Brief close contact (being within 6 feet for a short time) is not sufficient to spread the virus.

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020
Letter from Mayor Brandy Amidon

 Dear TR Community,
A deep-rooted value of Travelers Rest has always been how we care for each other and stay unified as a community. This past month, we have seen changes that have altered our lives. Across our country, states are taking various precautions such as California mandating all nonessential travel for two weeks. Though we are not under those regulations, we understand the concern and stress that comes from not knowing what’s to come. As your local leaders, we want you to be prepared and ready to care for your families and our neighbors in any situation.

As a result, we are encouraging the following preparedness steps as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control:

1) Maintain two weeks of food on hand for your household. Please be considerate of limits and do not hoard.
2) Maintain a two-week supply of baby formula, supplies, and essentials.
3) Ensure you have a full stock of prescription medications, insulin and general drug store medications on hand.
4) Every day, we encourage you to check on your neighbors whether in person (six feet distancing) or a call. We know that isolation breeds loneliness, and we care too much to see anyone of our neighbors feel alone.

Our goal is to make sure you feel prepared and comforted to weather any situation that comes as we are all working towards a common goal to remain healthy and TR Strong. We are posting updates to our website and our Discover Travelers Rest Facebook page. Also, join me in supporting our local restaurants by ordering take-out and tip well, if you can! (Here’s a list of TR Take-outs!)

Again, I’m accessible by phone at 864-380-4979 or email [email protected] Know that we are constantly doing everything we can to care for our TR families as a city and community.

Brandy Amidon
Mayor of Travelers Rest

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020
SC Governor’s Emergency Order of No On-site Food or Drink Service from SC DHEC:
“To facilitate social distancing, restaurants, and bars can no longer provide sit down dining. This applies to both indoor and outdoor dining areas. The Governor is encouraging all affected facilities to provide take out, drive-through or delivery service. Patrons may come into the facility to place orders. However, to promote social distancing, we are encouraging that orders be taken via phone, online or at a service window.

Retail stores, convenience stores, and hotel breakfast service may continue to offer self-service food service such as grab and go, hot dog and pizza or other food pick up; however, all seating areas need to be closed.”

Alcohol Sale from the SC Law Enforcement Division:
“This Section does not direct the closure of retail beverage venues that currently provide for the sale of alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption and does not require the closure of production operations or wholesale distribution at breweries, wineries, or distilleries.”

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020
Notice of Business License Renewal Due Date ExtensionDue to recent events related to COVOD-19 pandemic and in an effort to provide some relief to local businesses, the City of Travelers Rest City Council passed an Emergency Ordinance deferring the deadline for payment of new business licenses and business license renewals without penalty during this state of emergency. The extended deadline for business license renewals is May 20, 2020. For questions or assistance with your business license renewal please email Renee Smouse at [email protected] 

Business licenses renewal applications and payment can be sent to:
City of Travelers Rest, C/O Business License Renewal
125 Trailblazer Drive
Travelers Rest, SC 29690
Phone: 864. 834.8740

Travelers Rest City Council holds a regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. Following state and federal guidelines for safety regarding COVID-19, the meeting will be closed to the public. The meeting will be available to view on the Discover Travelers Rest Facebook page.

In a step to offer relief to local businesses, the agenda includes an Emergency Ordinance that would defer payment of new business licenses and business license renewals without a penalty until May 20. (View the agenda and the Emergency Ordinance here.)  The City has also created a resource guide to support local restaurants called TR Take-Outs which lists details of local delivery and pick-up options.

The City of Travelers Rest is committed to protecting the health of its citizens and employees and is following the latest guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Below we’ve listed some of the steps the city is taking to slow the spread and reduce the local impact of COVID-19. We’ve also included links to federal, state and local resources designed to keep you informed and protected.

To ensure continuity of essential services we are instituting the following modifications to City operations:

  • Effective Monday, March 16, city buildings will be closed to public access until April 30th
  • Payments will be accepted online and by mail
  • Permits, licensing, records requests, and payment assistance will be handled online or by phone
  • City Council and other public meetings have been canceled through March 31st.


All city events and events on City property are postponed through May 10th. The City is working with event organizers to reschedule when possible. This is a rapidly evolving situation that the city continues to monitor.


Learn how to protect yourself and what steps to take if you think you may be infected: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
For state and local updates from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control visit SCDHEC
Check out the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America – 15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
If your family is in need of food or support services please visit our Family Support Services webpage for listings of local organizations that are here to help.


You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses by following these simple steps:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath) should stay home and contact their primary care provider by phone. Only contact 9-1-1 in the event of a life-threatening emergency

The Presidents’ Coronavirus Guidelines for America, updated March 31, 2020