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State’s mandatory mask order ends at 5 p.m. Friday

Alabama’s mandatory mask order expires at 5 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in March she would not extend the mandatory mask order beyond April 9. On Wednesday, Ivey updated her Safer at Home protocols for the pandemic to what she called a Safer Apart mandate.

While masks will no longer be required after 5 p.m. April 9, Ivey is still encouraging people to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them.

As of 5 p.m. today, the Safer Apart protocols go into effect.

Ivey said masks will no longer be mandated statewide, but individuals are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people.

The Safer Apart mandate made the following recommendations that go into effect today at 5 p.m.:

  Recommendations for Individuals: Individuals continue to maintain a 6-foot social distance from people from other households, wearing a mask or facial covering if within 6-feet of a person from another household, staying home if sick, frequently washing hands, not touching your face, sneezing or coughing into a tissue or your elbow and disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as often as possible.

Protection for employees: Employers are encouraged to take steps to protect employees by encouraging the use of facemasks, maintaining social distance, regularly disinfecting items and surfaces, encouraging hand washing and preventing sick employees from coming into contact with other employees.

Protection for customers, constituents, students, etc.: The Safer Apart recommendations are encouraging the use of facemasks, maintaining social distance and regularly disinfecting items and surfaces

Senior Citizen Centers: Senior Centers are directed to follow guidelines issued by the Alabama Department of Senior Services.

Facilities that serve children are directed to follow the same protocols as recommended for consumers, constituents and students. In addition the requirement for social distancing for children between 6 and 18 is three feet. Children under 6 need not maintain social distance.

All other current protocols for hospitals and quarantine remain in place.