DENVER (AP) — Colorado will no longer require COVID-19 mask mandates and instead will allow mask “suggestions,” Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said Friday.
The announcement followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's more lenient mask-wearing guidance released Thursday for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
“If you're vaccinated, you don't need to wear a mask at all,” Polis said. "If you're not vaccinated yet, we do suggest — not order, but suggest — that you continue to wear a mask in indoor settings, around others, but, even more importantly, get vaccinated.”
Denver will lift capacity and distancing requirements for businesses beginning Sunday, Mayor Michael Hancock said Friday.
Starting Saturday, the city's mask mandate will be lifted for people who are vaccinated. The exceptions align with CDC guidance that keeps masks in places like hospitals, schools and childcare settings.
Polis said the state is allowing businesses to decide for themselves how to handle mask-wearing rules.
The state will allow teachers or students 16 years and older who can demonstrate that they are vaccinated to remove masks, dependent on the school district's policy.
Colorado will not have a statewide vaccination passport system because there is no “practical way to implement it," Polis said.
For public-facing state employees like the Department of Motor Vehicles, they will be able to be mask-less if they are vaccinated, and customers will be required to wear masks for the next two weeks, he said.
Public health orders that require masks for indoor events of more than 500 people will remain through June 1, Polis said.
The governor estimated 25% to 30% of Colorado residents are interested in getting the vaccine but haven't received one yet.