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Can You Legally Celebrate Mother's Day With Family This Year?

Woman sitting on couch doing a computer video phone call with her attorney to discuss divorce
By Andrew Leonatti on May 06, 2020 11:40 AM

If you aren't spending time with your mom, is it really Mother's Day?

That's what millions of people (we're all some mom's child) across the country are asking themselves this week as Mother's Day approaches. Whether you were planning to travel or your mom lives just down the road, can a Mother's Day brunch still happen with, you know, mom, if stay-at-home orders are still in place?

Every State Is Different

It's important to remember that there are no federal stay-at-home guidelines in place. The state, county, or city where you live has to issue an order for there to be any restrictions on your movements.

Many of these orders also limit the amount of people who can gather for something like a Mother's Day or Father's Day celebration. For instance:

  • Residents of Alabama must not gather in groups of more than 10, and if you do not live in the same household, you have to stay more than six feet apart.
  • Connecticut is banning groups of five or more.
  • New Mexico is also banning groups of five or more and ordering people to stay home, except for permitted reasons.
  • Oregon prohibits any social gatherings where people cannot maintain six-feet distance between them.
  • South Carolina bans gatherings of more than three people if there is a threat to public health.
  • Washington bans social gatherings of any size.

Some states, however, are starting to relax their restrictions, which means it may be easier to personally serve Mom her mimosas:

  • Arkansas is permitting gatherings in unenclosed outdoor spaces.
  • Residents of Florida can head to newly reopened beaches, provided they are in a group of 10 or fewer people.
  • Indiana only limits gatherings to 25 people or fewer.
  • Businesses in Kansas are reopening, meaning it may be possible to snag a table at Mom's favorite restaurant.
  • Missouri lifted its ban on social gatherings but is reminding people to keep their space.

As always, it's important to see what the order in place for your specific location is. Even if you live in a state that's "reopened," there are likely still many restrictions in place.

Can the Police Do Anything?

At the start of the pandemic, many governors and mayors talked about how they hoped people would voluntarily comply with the stay-at-home orders, and that police enforcement wouldn't be necessary.

Well, that's definitely changed. Police in Minnesota have been issuing citations. Patience is also wearing thin in California. But many crusading sheriff's out there have also said they aren't going to enforce any stay-at-home orders.

So while in many places, the police can stop your Mother's Day party from happening, the bigger question is will they.

While we don't dispense medical advice, we will take this opportunity to note that just because you can get away with something, it doesn't mean that you should try it. Orders are in place for a reason, so be aware of the risks, and maybe think about hitting Mom up on Zoom instead this year.

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