Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order on Thursday declaring county and local mask mandates unenforceable, finally allowing residents of the southwestern state to remove the cumbersome masks.
Ducey is citing the vaccination of three million Arizona citizens as reason to sweep away local mask mandates, pointing to the efficacy of vaccines rather than the dubious benefits of masks to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
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 act responsibly as we gradually get back to normal. Details on the new phase of mitigation can be found here: https://t.co/JLKsoeAuzU 7/
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) March 25, 2021
The order states that “no county, city or town may make or issue any order, rule or regulation that conflicts with or is in addition to the policy…This includes but is not limited to mandated use of face coverings. Any city, town or county that has a rule, regulation or ordinance not in place as of March 11, 2020 that is in conflict with the provisions of this order shall not be enforced.”
Businesses still will be permitted to discriminate against customers that are unable to wear masks, and the items will be mandatory on public transportation and some government buildings. The Democrat supervisor of Arizona’s public schools confirmed she’d keep a mask mandate in place in schools, even though children are at little to no risk of the coronavirus disease. The left-wing mayor of Tucson is refusing to comply, as well, threatening to take Ducey to court in order to mandate masks upon the populace.
Ducey’s executive order also removes all of the mandates imposed on small businesses in terms of crowd sizes and social distancing, instead turning them into recommendations.
Arizona never had a statewide mask mandate, with the state’s largest county of Maricopa enacting one. The state now follows other states such as Texas and Iowa that have swept away mask mandates and cranked down COVID restriction policies.