Alabama’s mask mandate, due to expire on Friday, will remain in effect to April 9, but no longer, Governor Kay Ivey said.
“After that, it’ll be personal responsibility,” the Republican said at a briefing, adding that she plans to continue wearing her mask beyond that date. "Folks, we’re not there yet, but goodness knows we’re getting closer."
The contrasting moves on masks in the three Republican-led Southern states comes at a time when the number of new coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths had been sharply falling in the United States after a surge that followed the holiday season.
At the same time, governors around the country are easing many restrictions that had been in place to curb the infection rate.
The White House on Thursday continued to push back against the lifting of mask mandates and other COVID-19 public health measures, and called for cooperation from the public.