Colorado health officials have announced plans to loosen the state’s mask mandate and limits on gatherings.
The Colorado health department said it was giving more local control to counties as Covid vaccination eligibility in the state increases.
Officials say that for most of the state masks will still be needed for indoor public places with 10 or more people, and capacity restrictions will stay in place.
But new proposals would allow authorities and “private entities” in counties with the lowest infection rates to decide whether masks will be required.
It would bring to an end most restrictions on capacity for restaurants, retailers and outdoor events.
Currently only to counties in the state, rural Crowley and Otero counties, met the requirements of fewer than 15 cases per 100,000 in a week.
The majority of the state is in the next tier up, while Denver is two levels higher than the least restrictive level.
“Because of the commitment of all Coloradans, we are where we are now, able to be less restrictive and provide local communities and their public health agencies more control while still protecting the public’s health,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
“It’s all about a balance. We’ve enacted the restrictions we need to slow the disease while attempting to limit the ramifications of closing down parts of the state and the impacts that come with that.”
Health officials have proposed the changes as nearly 80 per cent of people over the age of 70 have now been vaccinated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.