NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks in most public places indoors and outdoors, but it’s still unclear if Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will adopt the same standards.
Many New Mexicans on Thursday said even though they’re fully vaccinated, they’ll keep wearing their masks, for now. “To protect others, to make people feel comfortable. Not going to lie, I haven’t had allergies in a year either so maybe there are some benefits there,” Thien-Nam Dinh of Albuquerque stated.
The new rule means fully vaccinated people can be in public without wearing a mask or social distancing. The new advice comes with some exceptions. Even vaccinated individuals must cover their faces and physical distance themselves when going to doctors, hospitals, or long-term care facilities like nursing homes.
Masks are also required when traveling by bus, plane, train, or other types of public transportation, and people will also still have to follow the rules set by workplaces and local businesses.
In an emailed statement, the governor’s office said the following on Thursday:
“The New Mexico Department of Health is reviewing the CDC’s newly released guidance for fully vaccinated individuals – we expect adjustments to the state’s public health order to be made imminently after a thorough evaluation of the new information.”
In Albuquerque, it’s already a mix of people with and without masks in crowded places, including downtown and Old Town, which attracts many tourists. An Albuquerque local says he hopes the governor gets rid of the state’s mask mandate as a way to help local businesses.
“Especially now that it’s summer and we’re going to have a lot of tourists. I think that’ll definitely help our economy,” Nick Estrada of Albuquerque said.
The new mask rule could be another incentive for New Mexicans to get the vaccine. State health officials have already been urging all New Mexicans to get the shot, saying the state could fully reopen by the end of June if 60% of eligible New Mexicans are fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said they will continue to enforce their mask mandate. People are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their second shot of Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
President Biden called Thursday’s announcement a milestone in the battle against the pandemic.