On 27th of april 2021, the governor of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that from 28 april 2021, the statewide mask mandate which was enacted to combat the covid 19 virus will be lifted, thereby limiting the compulsory masking to specific places like hospitals, schools, clinics etc. the 28th april withdrawal of the mask mandate is a bit controversial nationwide as it is controversial to the recommendations of president of the united states, President Joe Biden. Although, it is normal in the southern states where the mandatory wearing of masks was never set up in some states, and those that did have already withdrawn theirs.
According to the governor, the withdrawal of the mandatory masking can be attributed to the decrease in hospitilazion due to corona virus in recent months in the state and the introduction of the vaccines. hE also made note that businesses or offices not run by the government are still free to enact their own mandatory mask wearing in their properties, this right is also extended to local governments. Nevertheless, he also pointed out that this is not the end of mask wearing, he still urges every citizen of Louisiana to continue wearing their mask in crowds and also indoors, most especially for those who have not been opportuned to receive the COVID-19 vaccin.
From 28 April, the people of louisiana will only be mandated to wear a mask in k-12 schools, nursing homes, healthcare facilities, universities and state government buildings.
Restrictions about mandatory wearing of mask has been quite shaky in the state of louisiana. Duringthe statewide mandatory wearing of masks, people were seen openly flouting the restrictions, even lawmakers of the state from the 2 major political parties (Democrats and Republicans) were seen holding sessions without putting on a mask.
Alongside relaxingthe restrictionson mandatory mask wearing, the governor also increased the capacity for gatherins like music events, sports events and large indooe gatherings from 50% to 75%, giving them room to even run full capacity (that is 100%) if they can be ableto run a mandatory mask wearing in the venue. Capacity restrictions for outdoor events have also been fully lifted. Salons can open waiting areas and bars can run walk up service.
This is seen as a welcome development by majority of Louisiana residents, who fel that the recent decline in number of cases and the roll out of vaccines should be followed by relaxing of some reestrictions in the state. On the side of the health officialsof the state, this is seen as worrisome as Louisiana is not really performing well in their rate of vaccination, as at 27 April, loiusiana ranks 41 in vaccines administered per capita. Only about 1.2 millin people have been fully vaccinated, and that is just about 26% of the states population, and only about 1.5 million (30%) have received at least a dose of the vaccinein the state.
These relaxing of mandatory mask wearing restrictions can also be seen in other southern states like Arkansas, missisipi and texas recently.