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Arizona governor lifts mask mandates, re-opens bars

Ducey Interview
Posted at 11:04 AM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 14:19:00-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is prohibiting government mask mandates and allowing bars and nightclubs shuttered for months to open their doors without restrictions.

Ducey's move Thursday leaves in place few of the restrictions he implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

His order still allows businesses to enforce mask mandates if they want, but cities, towns and counties must lift theirs.

Restrictions on gatherings of 50 or more people also were lifted, but organizers are required to encourage safety precautions like social distancing.

The Republican governor cites rising vaccination rates and the opening of vaccine appointments to all adults, as well as a declining number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

“As we’ve said all along, distribution of the vaccine is our best path to getting back to normal, and I want to thank the millions of Arizonans who have rolled up their sleeves to make the distribution and uptake so successful,” said Governor Ducey. “In Arizona, we never did a shutdown, so it’s impossible to have a grand reopening. Instead, we are continuing to take reasonable, safe and sensible steps. The measures put in place last summer allowed Arizona to fight back COVID-19. I want to thank the local leaders who supported these efforts with their own measures, and the businesses who implemented them. Today, we are in a different spot, and we are also a lot smarter. I’m confident Arizona’s businesses and citizens will continue to practice the fundamentals and act responsibly as we gradually get back to normal."