Governor Kay Ivey on Monday rejected President Joe Biden’s request to further extend the state’s mask mandate.
Earlier in the day, Biden called on elected officials at all levels of government “to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate.”
The governor’s press secretary, Gina Maiola, told reporters on Monday afternoon, “As Governor Ivey has previously stated, Alabama’s mask mandate ends April 9.”
“We have made progress, and we are moving towards personal responsibility and common sense, not endless government mandates,” added Maiola.
Biden’s exhortation to extend or reinstate mask mandates comes 11 days before Alabama’s is set to expire.
Ivey announced in mid-March that Alabama’s statewide mandate will end April 9.
The Yellowhammer State’s facial covering requirement has been in place since the middle of July 2020.
Ivey has kept the policy in place longer than most other Republican governors. Iowa ceased its requirement in February, the state of Texas ended its mask mandate on March 10.
Many of Alabama’s Deep South neighbors like Georgia and Tennessee never had a comprehensive statewide mask mandate, though some amount of required masking has occurred in all 50 states.
Businesses in Alabama who wish to do so will be able to require their customers to mask up after the state mandate expires.
The governor’s office has made printable signs available to businesses that say “mask required for service” or “thank you for wearing a mask.”
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.