ARIZONA NEWS

Gov. Doug Ducey lifts Arizona COVID mandates, including local mask rules

Mar 25, 2021, 9:52 AM | Updated: 11:58 am

Gov. Doug Ducey poses after receiving his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Tucson on March 24, 20...

Gov. Doug Ducey poses after receiving his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Tucson on March 24, 2021. (Twitter Photo/@uarizona)

(Twitter Photo/@uarizona)

PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday rolled back the state’s remaining COVID-19 mitigation requirements, including local face mask mandates.

Under a new executive order, all of the state’s business requirements have been changed to recommendations, and bars can now go back to their pre-pandemic operations.

In addition, events of more than 50 people, including youth sports, no longer need approval from local governments.

Businesses still have the option to require social distancing and masks and refuse service to patrons who don’t comply.

“The measures put in place last summer allowed Arizona to fight back COVID-19,” Ducey said in a press release. “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.”

The order says local governments can’t make any regulations pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic and specifically mentions face masks mandates.

Mask requirement for K-12 schools remain in effect, according to Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman.

Thursday’s order also rescinds a handful of previous executive orders issued by Ducey during the pandemic.

Ducey never ordered a statewide mask mandate. In June 2020, he gave local jurisdictions authority over the issue. Other than that, he’s kept the power to regulate all of the state’s COVID-19 response in his own hands.

Most of the state wound up with mask mandates, but those remaining can no longer be enforced under Thursday’s order.

The announcement came as the state surpassed 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.

“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,” Ducey said.

He also noted that the number of coronavirus cases has been declining for 10 weeks and hospitalizations are at their lowest levels since early October.

Ducey has been easing the state’s COVID-related restrictions as the metrics have improved since peaking in January.

Earlier this month, he lifted capacity restrictions on businesses covered under his June 2020 executive order. However, until Thursday, the requirements for physical distancing and mask use remained in effect for restaurants, bars, nightclubs, indoor fitness centers, indoor theaters and water parks.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

3 hours ago

Arizona woman sentenced for mail fraud...

Nick Borgia

Green Valley woman sentenced to prison for defrauding elderly clients

A Green Valley insurance agent was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Tuesday for mail fraud, according to a press release.

5 hours ago

Fire breaks out in home where man accused of shooting his baby...

KTAR.com

Suspect identified in Surprise police standoff case that involved baby shooting and house fire

A man was accused of shooting his baby in a Surprise residence he broke into on Friday. A fire later broke out in the house, officials said.

6 hours ago

north mountain brush fire...

Nick Borgia

Firefighters achieve fire control on brush fire near North Mountain in Phoenix

Firefighters have achieved fire control on a brush fire near 7th Street and Thunderbird Road, authorities said Saturday.

7 hours ago

vista-verde-fire...

Nick Borgia

Fire crews responding to wildfire near Vista Verde in Tonto National Forest

Fire crews are responding to a wildfire near Vista Verde, north of Dynamite Boulevard and 136th Street on the Cave Creek Ranger District.

8 hours ago

David Pagniano....

KTAR.com

Man sentenced to life in prison for burying wife alive in grave north of Prescott

A man from Prescott was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month for burying his wife alive in a grave north of Prescott.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Gov. Doug Ducey lifts Arizona COVID mandates, including local mask rules