Politics

Arizona Governor Lifts Capacity Limits, Other COVID-19 Restrictions

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Font Size:

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Friday the state would be ending occupancy limits for businesses while social distancing and mask wearing will remain in place.

Following a seven week decline in coronavirus cases combined with the distribution of more than two million coronavirus vaccines, Ducey’s executive order will end occupancy percentage limits for businesses like restaurants, gyms, theaters, water parks, bowling alleys and bars that offer dine in services.

The order also prohibits local authorities from implementing “extreme measures that shut down businesses.”

“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.” (RELATED: ‘Neanderthal Thinking’: Biden, White House Bash State Governors For Ending Mask Mandates)

Ducey also noted unlike other states, Arizona did not shutdown despite calls “from the extremes on both sides.”

Ducey warned, however, that the state is still not yet in the clear.

“Today’s announcement is a measured approach; we are not in the clear yet. We need to continue practicing personal responsibility. Wear a mask. Social distance. Stay home when you’re sick and wash your hands frequently,” he said in a statement.

The average daily new coronavirus cases have dropped by 28% this week compared to the average two weeks earlier, according to data from The New York Times (NYT).

Average daily deaths have also sharply declined, with data showing deaths are down 29% during the same time frame, according to the NYT.

Democratic Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday night that the state would be rolling back coronavirus restrictions on businesses in the coming weeks, citing declining case numbers and increasing vaccinations. Beginning March 19, restaurants, retail outlets, museums, gyms, offices and other entities will have their capacity limits lifted.

Mask wearing and social distancing measures will remain in place.

Both Mississippi and Texas announced this week that they would be lifting both mask mandates and capacity limits.