Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey lifts restrictions on public events, rescinds other orders related to mitigating the spread of COVID-19


Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey lifted restrictions on public gatherings Thursday.

Ole Olafson, Reporter

On Thursday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey suddenly lifted COVID-19 restrictions on organized public events.

The first section of Executive Order  2021-06 stipulates that Executive orders 2020-43, Pausing of Arizona’s Reopening; 2020-52, Continuation of Executive Order 2020-43 and 2020-59, Further Mitigation Requirement for Events are lifted.  However, it encourages organizers to continue using precautions such as physical distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The second portion of the same section of the order states that businesses and entities operating in the state that serve the public or are employers are encouraged to continue to take actions recommended by the CDC, Arizona Department of Health and other governmental organizations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  The order goes on to clarify that entities will continue to maintain the right to “institute and enforce policies to mitigate against COVID-19 spread including the use of face coverings and physical distancing, and retain the right to refuse service to those who do not comply with the policies.”

In addition to the orders relating to events, Executive Orders 2020-09, Limiting the Operations of Certain Businesses to Slow the Spread of COVID-19; 2020-36, Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger; 2020-40, Containing the Spread of COVID-19 and 2020-47, Reducing the Risk, Slowing the Spread; are also rescinded.

The third section of the order prohibits counties, cities or towns to issue orders that conflict with the provisions of 2021-06 except  in the case of their own governmental building or public transportation.

The action comes one day after Arizona opened up COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone over the age of 16.

Current statistics show that approximately 20% of Arizona’s population is fully immunized.

Epidemiologists agree that 70% or more of the population will need to be immunized before herd immunity occurs.