Citing increased distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine and 10 weeks of declining cases, Gov. Doug Ducey Thursday announced updates to Arizona’s Covid-19 measures, including lifting requirements on the state’s businesses and events.
According to the governor’s new executive order, events of more than 50 people will no longer need the approval of local governments, previous requirements for businesses will transition to recommendations, but businesses will still be able to continue requiring masks and social distancing and bars are allowed to resume regular operations, but can require social distancing and masks if they want to.
Arizona never issued a statewide mask mandate, but local government mandates will be phased out, though mask usage is still encouraged, according to the order.
“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,” Ducey said in a statement about the order.
“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," he added.
Covid-19 vaccinations were opened to anyone 16 years old and older at certain state-run sites in Arizona starting Wednesday.
This post has been updated with new details on when vaccinations opened to people 16 and older.