Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Announces ‘Safer Apart’ Order, Lifts Statewide Mask Mandate

Kay Ivey

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced the ‘Safer Apart’ order Thursday, making face masks optional in the state after April 9, an indication that the Yellowhammer State is moving in the right direction.

“As I’ve previously stated, Alabama’s mask order will expire at 5 p.m. on April 9,” Ivey stated in a tweet. “Today, I’m announcing our state will then enter into our Safer Apart order, which will be in effect until May 5 at 5 p.m.”

“Folks, we still have a public health order, but it’s greatly slimmed down due to everyone doing their part to practice social distancing, wearing a mask, & voluntarily getting a vaccine,” Ivey wrote in another tweet as she encouraged residents in the state “to do all of these things & make smart decisions.”

Ivey’s announcement means there will be no statewide enforcement of coronavirus restrictions since the state first imposed them on residents last spring.

“As of Monday, the 7-day average for newly-reported COVID-19 [coronavirus] cases was 328 per day,” Ivey said at a Wednesday press conference. “That’s a 92 percent drop from the high reached on Jan. 10 and the lowest such average since the spring of 2020.”

“Ya’ll, this is definitely good news, and we are definitely moving in the right direction,” she added.

Included in Ivey’s ‘Safer Apart’ order, which provides Alabamians with the opportunity to govern themselves, are recommendations on how schools, businesses, and other organizations can safely reopen their businesses.

Major cities in Alabama like Birmingham, Montgomery, and Gadsden have passed city-wide mask mandates to replace the expiring statewide health order which required face masks in public.

Ivey also stated that she and her team “have created signs that business owners can use to continue urging patrons to wear masks in their stores & restaurants.” Those signs, which are offered with phrases like “Mask required for service” and “Thank you for wearing a mask” can be found on the governor’s website here.

Last week, Alabama announced that anyone 16 years of age or older is “eligible for the vaccine.”

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