New mask mandate: Some hesitant, others ease restrictions for fully vaccinated people

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that fully vaccinated New Mexicans no longer have to wear masks indoors or outdoors. But some Albuquerque businesses might still ask you to mask up. Some businesses aren’t quite ready to let people in without masks on, so it might be a good idea to keep a mask on you when you go out.

“We’ve been living in a mask world for a year,” said the 505 Central Food Hall owner, Mark Baker. Baker said they’re still processing the Governor’s announcement on the new mask mandate. “Its really important that people are safe and that our clientele and employees feel safe here in the Food Hall,” said Baker.

The Governor’s office said following the CDC guidelines, in most circumstances, anyone who is fully vaccinated is no longer required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. The new guidance said vaccinated people will still have to wear a mask at places like hospitals, prisons, homeless shelters or on public transportation.

But for businesses like the Food Hall: “We’re going to request that people continue to wear masks for maybe a week,” said Baker. “We’re going to reassess in about a week and we’re going to see how it goes and take it on a day by day basis.”

And they’re not alone. The Smiths grocery store, Target and Cottonwood Mall are still requiring their shoppers to wear masks. Defined Fitness is still deciding what to do. “We will provide an update to our Defined Fitness members and community on Monday regarding any changes to our policy,” said Maria Lamar, Director of Marketing for Defined Fitness. “Our currently policies will remain through the weekend.”

But chain stores like Walmart, Costco, Sams Club and Trader Joes have all announced they’ll allow fully vaccinated people to go mask-less in their stores. Still, it might be smart to keep one on hand just in case. “Given that businesses, tribal entities and other organizations do have the right or freedom to establish more stringent mask policies, yeah, having a mask in your back pocket or your purse is a good idea,” said Matt Bieber with the New Mexico Department of Health.

Under state guidelines, people who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks in public. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after getting both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or after the one-shot J&J vaccine. Under the state’s updated mask mandate, all public schools staff and students will still be required to wear masks.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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