Alabama will not force people to wear masks in public starting the weekend after the Easter holidays, joining other states that have made plans this week to end mask warrants.
Governor Kay Ivey said Thursday she would extend the mask-wearing rule until April 9, after which the order could expire.
The move follows similar actions by fellow Republican governors in Texas and Mississippi to end masked mandates in their states and allow businesses to operate at full capacity, encouraged by vaccine rollouts and declining cases. coronavirus and hospitalizations. The decisions drew criticism from some lawmakers who said the rollback of the coronavirus rules had gone too far.
Asked about the mask terms ending in Texas and Mississippi, Joe Biden accused the governors of “Neanderthal thinking.” Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves returned to Twitter saying, “I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them.”
Jim Justice, the Republican governor of West Virginia, has said that while the state will eventually end his mask tenure, he is not currently considering doing so. “I don’t really know what the big rush is to get rid of the mask because these masks have saved a lot, a lot of lives,” he said in an interview with CNN.
Ivey plans to continue wearing a mask herself when she is with other people, but the issue will be “a matter of personal responsibility and not a government mandate,” she told a conference. Press. Texas and Mississippi also upheld recommendations to wear masks when social distancing was not possible.
“The Alabamians are smart. They have common sense. They know what works. But after April 9, we don’t have a mask warrant anymore, ”Ivey said.
Alabama also eased some restrictions on business and social activities, starting Saturday. Restaurants and bars will no longer be required to limit group sizes at each table, while summer camps can operate with social distancing and other health measures.