LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear explained upcoming changes to Kentucky's mask mandate Friday following new guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC updated its guidance saying fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear masks outdoor in crowds and in most indoor settings.The guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.
Beshear said the state will lift the mask mandate on June 11. The governor cited the decision to continue the mandate until that date is to give unvaccinated Kentuckians the opportunity to register for vaccine appointments and give time for the 12-15 age group to get vaccinated.
Additionally, capacity restrictions on indoor and outdoor events will be lifted June 11. All indoor and outdoors events will be open to 100% capacity.
"On June 11, life will almost fully be back to normal," Beshear said. "This is an entirely new day and this is really exciting."
The governor called the new CDC guidance a 'game-changer' and said that June 11 date gives health departments and businesses a runway to make appropriate changes.
“After a long, dark pandemic – more of our people have gotten their shot of hope, and we have steadily moved to lift the last remaining restrictions put in place to slow the spread of this dangerous virus and save lives,” Beshear said.
For social distancing, Beshear said guidelines will still be in place until that mandate is lifted and reminded Kentuckians to be mindful of distancing even after that date.
Until that June 11 date, businesses will be still be required to enforce a mask mandate. However, after June 11, businesses will no longer have to enforce the masking.
The state of emergency declared on March 6, 2020, when Kentucky recorded its first COVID-19 case, will remain in place for the time being, as will the federal emergency declaration.
At this time, close to 1.9 million Kentuckians have received at the least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.