Gov. Kay Ivey is extending her Safer at Home order. Alabamians will still have to wear their masks until April 9. Ivey said while she is extending the mask order, this will be the last time.
“After April the 9th, I will not keep the mask order in effect," she said in a press conference. "There is no question that wearing masks has been one of our greatest tools in combating the spread of the virus. That, along with good hygiene and social distancing has helped more people from getting sick, or worse, dying.”
The governor said the time is coming for personal responsibility.
“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. At that time it will become a personal responsibility and not a government mandate,” she said.
Ivey bucked the trend of other southern states by keeping Alabama’s mask order in place. While cases and hospitalizations are on the decline, health officials in the state have urged her to continue the use of masks.
Ivey said some things will change under the new version of the order, patients and residents in hospitals and nursing homes can now see more people and facilities need to be ready.
“We are raising the maximum number of visitors from one to two caregivers to accompany a loved one during their stay in a hospital or nursing home," she said. "Let me be clear, all of our hospitals and nursing homes need to update their visitation policies to accommodate this change.”
Restaurants can stay open but there will no longer be restrictions on how many people can sit at a table. Eateries will still have to keep tables spaced six feet apart and sanitation rules are still in place.