Kansas Essential Functions – FAQ

Essential Functions Classifications

Are gyms and personal trainers considered essential functions?   

  • Answer: No.

Are hair salons, barber shops, etc. considered essential functions? 

  • Answer: No. 

Are craft/fabric stores considered essential functions?

  • Answer: Craft stores may remain open only to sell to the extent they are providing fabric and sewing materials for the purpose of creating masks to slow the spread of the disease, they fit within KEFF 400.4 as the “manufacture [of] equipment used for essential functions.” This does not permit “full online ordering with contactless curbside delivery;” rather, it is limited to products used for the purpose of creating masks.

Are vape and smoke shops considered essential functions?

  • Answer: Yes, nicotine and CBD sales are permissible under KEFF 400.6 and 300.20 respectively.

Are municipal or state parks and lakes considered essential functions?  

  • Answer: Yes, under KEFF 300.09.c any state or local government functions that are essential can continue. Local governments have the discretion to determine which of their functions are essential at the local level. 

Are food pantries considered essential functions?  

  • Answer: Yes.

Are golf courses considered essential functions?

  • Answer: Yes. As long as golf is considered “no touch” and as long as clubhouses are closed and sales of all equipment are done online with no physical contact. Golfers must maintain social distancing guidelines of groups smaller than 10 people and six-foot distancing. This also applies to driving ranges.

Are car dealerships (both service and sales) considered essential functions? 

  • Answer: Yes.

Are liquor stores considered essential functions? 

  • Answer: Yes.

Are construction or repair activities (concrete, etc.) considered essential functions? 

  • Answer: Yes. Both residential and commercial services are considered essential functions. Additionally, commercial and residential landscaping services are essential under KEFF 400.9 (pursuant to guidance document 20-16-1) as long as employees and customers maintain a six-foot distance (including no carpooling).

Can restaurants or bars remain open?   

  • Answer: Yes, only takeout and delivery services are declared as essential functions under Executive Order 20-16, KEFF 400.6.b. Restaurants and bars may not re-open for dine-in services at this time according to Executive Order 20-18.

Can convenience stores remain open?  

  • Answer: Yes, so long as they are not selling self-service food for on-site consumption. 

Are bowling alleys considered an essential function? 

  • Answer: No.

Are county courthouses/government considered an essential function?   

  • Answer: Yes.

Are veterinary offices, pet grooming and animal board considered essential functions?  

  • Answer: Veterinary services are deemed essential because of the need of animals seeking medical care. Grooming services and spa services are not considered as essential functions under Executive Order 20-16. If a business offers both veterinary care and grooming services, employees may only leave their homes to the extent they are performing veterinary services, animal boarding/daycare or selling the necessary pet products (food, medicine, etc.).

Can community food drives continue as planned? 

  • Answer: Yes, but they must adhere to spread mitigation directives such as maintaining a 6-foot distance between individuals and minimizing contact.

Are Farmers’ Markets considered an essential function?

Permissible Activities

Is general transportation essential if they are taking riders to the essential activities?

  • Answer: Transportation to or from a business or organization to perform an essential function is allowed. 

What, if any, funerals are permitted?  

  • Answer: Funerals are permitted under KEFF 300.20.b, but must follow appropriate safety protocols, including maintaining a six-foot distance between individuals. There is also a 10-person limit of attendees pursuant to EO 20-25, but this does not include employees or military service members gathered to conduct the service.

What, if any, church services are permitted?  

  • Answer: Church services are permitted under Executive Order 20-15 KEFF 300.12b but must follow the restrictions on mass gatherings, limiting all services to no more than 10 people. Additionally they must maintain a six-foot distance between individuals. Many church services have moved to online streaming programs. Like all emergency executive orders, violations of Executive Order 20-18 are a class A misdemeanor, subject to up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. However, local law enforcement agencies have significant discretion in the manner and extent to which criminal enforcement measures are used to enforce the provisions of executive orders.

Can individuals performing essential functions in another state cross state lines?  

  • Answer: Yes. If the function being performed in the other state qualifies as an essential function under Executive Order 20-16, a Kansas resident may leave their home to perform that function.

Can individuals from other states travel to Kansans to perform essential functions? 

  • Answer: Yes.

Can individuals from other states travel to Kansas for outdoor recreational activities (hunting, camping, etc.)?    

  • Answer: Yes, as long as the outdoor activity allows for maintaining a six-foot distance between individuals and complies with the prohibition on gatherings of 10 or more. Quarantine and travel guidance issued by KDHE should also be followed.

Can individuals from Kansas travel for outdoor recreational activities (hunting, camping, etc.)?    

  • Answer: Yes, as long as the outdoor activity allows for maintaining a six-foot distance between individuals and complies with the prohibition on gatherings of 10 or more. Quarantine and travel guidance issued by KDHE should also be followed, and other restrictions regarding hunting or fishing permits apply.

Are students permitted to attend in-person classes at a school? 

  • Answer: Generally, no. In-person instruction at all public and private K-12 schools in Kansas has ceased and can only resume if the requirements of Executive Order 20-07 are met. Those requirements include, but are not limited to, following applicable guidance from the Kansas Department of Education on implementing  in-person instruction for small groups in limited circumstances and so long as appropriate safety protocols are followed.

Are teachers permitted in schools to teach digital/web based classes?   

  • Answer: Only if permitted by the Kansas Department of Education, local district leadership, and in compliance with Executive Order 20-07.

Is curbside pick-up and delivery permitted for non-essential businesses?

  • Answer: No, curbside pick-up and online order/delivery services are not permitted for non-essential businesses. These actions are only permissible if the business is selling products for essential functions. The main purpose of designations of essentials functions is to reduce public interaction in order to flatten the curve at a quickest rate possible.


How is this enforceable?  

  • Answer: Executive Order 20-16 is issued pursuant to the Governor’s authority under the Kansas Emergency Management Act, K.S.A. 48-904 et seq. Violation of such an order is a Class A misdemeanor. K.S.A. 48-939.

What guidance is available for local enforcement agencies?

Are businesses required to close?  

  • Answer: The statewide stay-home order does not require any business to close, BUT it does prohibit leaving one’s home unless you are performing an essential activity or essential function. If you are able to work from home, you must do so even if you perform an essential function at work. For guidance on whether your employees perform an essential function, please fill out the Kansas Essential Function Request Form: https://governor.kansas.gov/keff/

Does this override existing county level orders?  

  • Answer: Yes.

Why does this override existing county level orders?  

  • Answer: The Governor’s orders under the Emergency Management Act supersede any local orders. Governor Kelly, Adjutant General Weishaar, and their emergency response and public health professionals determined a uniform statewide order was required to implement a consistent, effective system for both slowing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring that essential functions can continue.

Are letters of essentiality needed to travel and work if my employer meets an essential function? 

  • Answer: These letters hold no authority and are not necessary. Law enforcement will not ask for letters. They have been issued independently from the state by private businesses. They are not required for documentation or verification purposes.

How should local counties enforce this? 

  • Answer: The provisions of Executive Order 20-16 and another other COVID-19-related executive orders are to be enforced like any state law. Violation of such orders is a class A misdemeanor. Please refer to the Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s guidance to law enforcement regarding enforcement of executive orders issued under the Emergency Management Act. 

How should an individual report a non-essential organization who continues to operate?  

  • Answer: As with any violation of state law, report such issues to your local police or sheriff. 

Restaurants and Bars

What are restaurants allowed to do?

How are bars able to provide “curbside” service without violating any open container laws? 

  • Answer: The Director of Alcohol Beverage and Control (ABC) has issued guidance using that office’s authority to permit curbside service of alcoholic beverages so long the container is sealed. The official guidance can be found here.


How will local county officials be notified of decisions made under the KEFF?  

  • Answer: County emergency managers will be notified via email on a regular basis so they can review organizations in their county who have received clarification of their KEFF status. 

How does KOMA apply to discussions with County Commissioners?  

  • Answer: Please contact your county counselor or county attorney to discuss this legal issue. 


What authority does the Governor have for issuing the stay-at-home order?  

How does this impact turkey hunting?  

  • Answer: Turkey hunting is an outdoor activity and may continue as long as individuals maintain a 6-foot distance from each other, comply with mass-gathering limits (under 10 people), and other appropriate safety measures. Executive Order 20-21 suspends the issuance of any further nonresident spring 2020 turkey permits.  The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism has issued guidance to out-of-state hunters that hunters coming to Kansas from certain states will be subject to quarantine requirements if they come to Kansas. Nonresident hunters may obtain a refund on their hunting license and permit by sending an email request to kdwp.sales@ks.gov. Please contact KDWPT for additional information. 

Are there any regulations to keep people from crossing state lines to go to diners, bars, etc., avoid Kansas orders, then return back to Kansas? 

  • Answer: Yes. Citizens are only allowed to leave their homes to perform essential activities or essential functions. Leaving to go to a diner, bar, or do anything else that is not essential—whether the destination is in Kansas or another state—is a violation of Executive Order 20-16 and is punishable as a class A misdemeanor.