Alabama’s mask mandate, due to expire on Friday, will remain in effect to April 9, but no longer, Governor Kay Ivey said.
“After that, it’ll be personal responsibility,” the Republican said at a briefing, adding that she plans to continue wearing her mask beyond that date. "Folks, we’re not there yet, but goodness knows we’re getting closer."
The contrasting moves on masks in the three Republican-led Southern states comes at a time when the number of new coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths had been sharply falling in the United States after a surge that followed the holiday season.
At the same time, governors around the country are easing many restrictions that had been in place to curb the infection rate.
The White House on Thursday continued to push back against the lifting of mask mandates and other COVID-19 public health measures, and called for cooperation from the public.
KAY IVEY: Good morning. --that we need to get past Easter and hopefully allow more Alabamians to get their first shot before we take a step some other states have taken to remove the mask order altogether and lift other restrictions. Folks, we're not there yet. But goodness knows, we're getting closer.
A new modified order will include several changes that will ease up some of our current restrictions while keeping our mask order in place for another five weeks through April 9. But let me be abundantly clear. After April the 9th, I will not keep the mask order in effect. Now, there's no question that wearing a mask has been one of our greatest tools in combating the spread of the virus. That, along with practicing good hygiene and social distancing, has helped us keep more people from getting sick or, worse, dying.
And even when we lift the mask order, I will continue to wear my mask while I'm around others and strongly urge my fellow citizens to use common sense and do the same thing. But at that time, it will become a matter of personal responsibility, and not a government mandate.