MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is extending the state’s safer at home order until April 9.
The state’s mask mandate remains in place in the new version of the order, which is set to go into effect when the current order expires at 5 p.m. Friday. Ivey said after the new order expires April 9, any new order that may come after that will not include a mask requirement.
The extension of the mask mandate is to give businesses time to implement their own mask policies ahead of the mandate’s expiration. Ivey said it will also give time for more Alabamians to get vaccinated.
“Folks we’re not there yet, but goodness knows we’re getting closer,” she said.
Other restrictions in the previous health order are being lifted.
The new version allows two caregivers or visitors at a time in hospitals and nursing homes, where previously only one was allowed.
Senior citizen centers are being allowed to resume programs as long as they are outdoors, and those activities are subject to guidelines from the Alabama Department of Senior Services. Meals will still only be allowed by curbside pickup or delivery.
Restaurants, bars and breweries will no longer have a party size limit at tables, but will have to remain 6 feet apart or partitioned. The previous order limited parties to eight people.
The order also allows summer camps to open with social distancing requirements identical to the ones used in schools.
Ivey’s new order comes as other states like Mississippi and Texas are lifting mask mandates and rolling back COVID-19 restrictions.