Kentucky will return to full capacity everywhere and fully lifts its mask mandate in less than a month, ending more than a year of COVID-19-related restrictions, Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Friday.
“We will return to 100% capacity for all venues and events in exactly one month, on June 11 . . . [and] life will be almost fully back to normal,” the governor said in a live update. That day, the state will also rescind its mask mandate for everyone, including those who are unvaccinated, “with the exceptions of places where people are the most vulnerable,” he said.
Beshear is waiting a month to fully lift those restrictions to allow time for adolescents ages 12-15 to get vaccinated. That age group was given the green light by federal health agencies earlier this week to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, and most vaccination sites in Kentucky just began administering doses to those teens on Thursday.
“One months also gives notice and time to everyone else who has not yet received their [dose],” Beshear said.
The news follows a Thursday announcement — first from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and then from Beshear — that it’s safe for people who are inoculated against COVID-19 to immediately forgo wearing masks and social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings. Exceptions include health care and congregate settings such as nursing homes and correctional facilities, and public transportation like planes, trains and buses. These same exceptions will apply in a month, when Kentucky fully lifts its coronavirus restrictions. Masks, for instance, will still be required in K-12 schools, pre-schools and other child care settings.