Branson aldermen voted Monday to restrict non-essential businesses, limit the size of public and social gatherings and require social distancing.

These amendments to an ordinance approved last week go into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 24.

According to a staff report from the city, the ordinance is designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the city of Branson by restricting non-essential business operations, public and social gatherings, and forcing social distancing amongst individuals in the city.

This new ordinance has the following outlines:

–Prohibits public and social gatherings of more than 10 people.

– Requires social distancing of six feet or more amongst non-family members.

–Prohibits non-essential businesses from operating in the city.

–Prohibits on-premises eating and drinking at any restaurant or business open to the public.

–Prohibits visitation to nursing homes, long term care facilities, retirement homes or any facility where the number of guests over the age of 60 outnumber those under the age of 60 unless that visit is to provide critical assistance or care.

The ordinance does allow essential businesses as long as they don’t exceed 25% of their occupant load in enclosed public places. Day cares and medical facilities are exempt. For lodging facilities, only the public areas are considered.

The bill also allows non-essential businesses to operate with 10 or fewer people as long as the business is not open to the public. Non-essential businesses can also continue operating if the employees can perform their work from their own residences.

The bill underwent several revisions during the emergency three-hour meeting held Monday evening. The Branson Tri-Lakes News monitored the meeting through live-streaming. The Branson Tri-Lakes News will report more details from the ordinance as they become available.

Violations of this ordinance can range between 90 days in jail or up to a $500 fine.

The ordinance will sunset when the emergency proclamation of the Mayor expires on May 15.

According to the ordinance, essential businesses are defined as “day care facilities which serve employees of essential businesses, health care facilities, grocery stores, convenience food stores, service stations, drug stores, pharmacies, public service or telecommunication facilities, financial institutions, law firms, accounting firms, government offices and facilities, lodging establishments, and restaurants or other businesses as deemed essential by the Emergency Management Director or the City Administrator.”

According to the staff report, the ordinance falls in line with the mandate laid out by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson this last weekend, ordering all Missourians to avoid all social gatherings of 10 or more people. Parson’s mandate went into effect Monday, March 23 at 12:01 a.m., and will last until April 6, unless extended.

According to a press release from the city, the “authority for this ordinance is laid out in Section 79.380, RSMo which permits the Board of Aldermen to “make regulations and pass ordinances for the prevention of the introduction of contagious diseases in the city, and for the abatement of the same, and may make quarantine laws and enforce the same within five miles of the city.”

The ordinance was approved on two readings by a 5-1 vote, with Kevin McConnell providing the “no” vote.

To view the entire ordinance as amended and voted on, go to the City’s “Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources and News,” on the city's website here.

For any questions regarding this ordinance, call 417-243-2780.

(11) comments

William B

Very dangerous time. Taking away the rights of the people is not how any of this should be handled. The media makes a panic and the local government by into it causing more damage to the people then the virus would do itself.

So Sick Of This Nonsense

Your "rights" end where my nose begins. In 1918 the Spanish Flu killed over 600,000 Americans, at that time we had a population of 103 Million. With the same percentage, this pandemic could take three times as many. I don't want to be one of those, do you?

William B

UV of Minnesoda 41.3 million sickend from the flu and 57,300 deaths.. Just the flu this year in the US. Covid 19 54,883 and 737 deaths so far. In may it will end like every other Corona virus before it. Why dont you cry over the flu. "They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" Benjamin Franklin. Keep being the sheep because the wolves need somthing to eat.

So Sick Of This Nonsense

And just who is crying? This is about trying to get ahead of the curve related to a virus for which there is no treatment or vaccine. Franklin also said wine is proof god loves us and wants us to be happy. I would suggest you drink some, chill, and not pass this virus along to those who want to stay healthy.

William B

You are the one crying it is even in your name. Franklin was Deism God played a very small roll in his life if any. America should never use totalitarianism to control we the people. Rights are very important and people need to start flexing them before they are taken away by people like you that think it is ok. Ronald Reagan told us the 9 most dangerous word ever said. "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." I am very chil i just dont want to be killed by the people that are here to "protect" us.

So Sick Of This Nonsense

Billy, Billy, Billy...1. Desim is a village in Iran. 2. Still not crying, but then again I don't understand that and your sentence about Iranian villages. 3. Reagan also said "Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives". 4. It seems you can't understand this is a situation that in order to protect people, you have to limit some freedoms...President Trump understands this and his approval rating is now at an all time high. I bet Reagan also would have understood this, the people running his Presidential Library do. 5. If you are going to use the phrase "people like me" you are drawing conclusions with no facts, just like your fear of government overreach.

William B

LOL. Google ninja, spell the word right next time. Let me help... Deism..... Why are you googling city's in Iran anyway to find more of the government style you like? No freedoms should ever be limited. If you like to be ruled that is not my problem. One day you'll see it, but by then it might be to late for you. Goverment overreach is dangerous, and it should be taken seriously. I have given facts and sources of said facts. I feel like I have some very good points on the regular flu you have never addressed probably because you can. Instead you misdirect. This virus is not the end all be all the media is making it out to be. But this huge shut down could have been avoided.

So Sick Of This Nonsense

Oh I know the difference, just wanted to illustrate the faulty comparisons you continue to make. (BTW, reading your comments through tears....of laughter. Sorry, no crying yet.) Let's just leave this with the fact that I trust President Trump, Governor Parson, and Mayor Akers in their efforts to keep us safe. I doubt that any of them would take steps to end our fundamental rights as Americans. Your comments will lead some to believe this should not be taken seriously, or worse, it is some type of "fake news" and grand conspiracy. It isn't.

William B

Lol you don't even know what your talking about anymore. If you think for one minute a politician actually cares, you're fooling yourself from the start.

So Sick Of This Nonsense

Wow, what an Anti Trumper!

William B

Lol. I dont think trump is that bad. Just not a fan of big government. They are all controlled by the Banking Cartels anyway. Pushing agendas that only 51% want and the other 49% are forced to deal with.

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