FRANKFORT, Ky (WEHT) Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced all capacity restrictions will be lifted on June 11. The announcement comes one day after Beshear lifted the state’s face mask mandate, in line with the Centers for Disease Control’s new guidance announced Thursday.
Gov. Beshear said the proven effectiveness of vaccinations and expanded vaccine eligibility to include 12- to 15-year-olds is allowing the commonwealth to safely and sustainably ease restrictions. With about 1.9 million Kentuckians vaccinated, the Governor said everyone who is eligible should be able to get a dose of a safe and effective vaccine ahead of June 11.
Also on June 11, Beshear says the state will also eliminate the mask mandate for all Kentuckians with the exceptions of places where people are the most vulnerable. Click here to read the updated facial covering requirements.
Even before all capacity restrictions are lifted June 11, the state has been able to increase capacity in most businesses to 60% and return child care classrooms to their traditional sizes. In addition, state officials have been able to shorten and simplify Healthy at Work minimum requirements. On May 28, all events and businesses with 1,000 or fewer people present can increase to 75% capacity. In addition, starting May 28, indoor and outdoor events with more than 1,000 people can be held at 75% capacity.
“On June 11, just one month from today, life will be almost fully back to normal,” said Gov. Beshear.
That return to normal, according to Governor Beshear, includes fewer masks required to be worn in fewer places, and fewer restrictions on crowds at events.
“It’s, kind of, a relief to a point,” says Fran Marseille of Friday After 5.
“I just think they’re jumping the gun. I think we’re going to have more issues than what we already have,” says Martha Lott of Owensboro.
Governor Beshear says new CDC guidelines and increased eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine lead to the changes.
“That certainly changes things that goes along with new projections on where we’ll be in July, goes along with now 12 to 15-year-olds getting the opportunity to get vaccinated,” he said.
Masks are still required in settings such as public transportation, in hospitals, schools and prisons. Daviess County Jailer Art Maglinger says inmates and guards are getting vaccines, limited space is why masks will still be required.
“I would speculate that it has to do with the close confinement and close quarters the inmates live in with housing. We don’t have the same ability to socially distance in a correctional setting,” he explained.
Marseille says some indoor venues they use will help determine mask and capacity rules.
“It will be up to the RiverPark Center or restaurants on whether or not they’re going to enforce mask rules still inside,” she explains. “We have to be flexible and follow the rules as best as we can.”
While you won’t be required to wear these masks in most places in Kentucky starting next month, Governor Beshear advises people to still keep them close by with them in case they have to be in a place that still requires one to be worn.
(This story was originally published on May 14, 2021)