Arizona is back in business, as Gov. Doug Ducey announced Friday it will reopen all establishments to 100 percent capacity.
“We’ve learned a lot over the past year,” Ducey said in a statement. “Our businesses have done an excellent job at responding to this pandemic in a safe and responsible way. We will always admire the sacrifice they and their employees have made and their vigilance to protect against the virus.”
Arizona joins Texas in lifting occupancy restrictions on everything from restaurants to gyms to movie theaters. Texas has also dumped its mask mandate.
Overall, fives states have either ended or will soon end mask mandates. Along with Texas, the list includes Mississippi, Iowa, Montana and North Dakota. Eleven states never required face coverings statewide — Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.
Declining COVID-19 positivity rates and the growing availability of vaccines were among the reasons cited as “hope for the future” by Ducey.
“We withstood the calls from the extremes on both sides, and we will continue to ignore them,” he said. “We always knew that fighting this virus would be dependent on the personal responsibility of everyday Arizonans.”