Businesses may on their own require face masks and social distancing under the order.
Also among the order’s stipulations is that gatherings of 50 or more people will no longer require approval from local governments, though Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for safe practices should continue to be followed. Youth sports is included under the provision.
The order also includes a phase-out of local mask ordinances, saying if the local order was not in place as of March 11, 2020, it shall not be enforced. However, local government entities can require masks in their buildings and on public transportation.
Bars also can return to normal operations under the order.
In making the order, Ducey cited the use and availability of vaccines, the 10-week trend of decline in cases and the low hospitalization rate for making the executive order.
“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. “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.”
Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke endorsed the move in the governor’s release.
“The vaccine is out far and wide, many Arizonans are vaccinated, and COVID numbers are down,” Hartke said. “We’re ready to carefully lift restrictions and trust Arizonans to make responsible decisions. I’m grateful to the Governor for responding to local needs as we move forward and fight the pandemic.”