Colorado moving to relax mask mandate, capacity limits

Travelers wearing protective face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reclaim their luggage at the airport in Denver, Colorado, U.S.

Colorado’s health department is moving to relax its statewide mask mandate and limits on gathering capacity.

Health officials say the state’s role in determining COVID-19 restrictions will lessen in favor of more local control as vaccination eligibility is extended.

For the majority of the state, masks will be required for indoor public places with 10 or more people, and the capacity restrictions remain in place.

The proposal would allow local authorities and “private entities” in the counties with the lowest coronavirus infection rates to determine whether masks would be required. It would end most restrictions on capacity for restaurants, retailers and outdoor events.

There are currently only two Level Green counties where this applies — the rural Crowley and Otero counties in southern Colorado — which means they have fewer than 15 cases per 100,000 people in a week.

Most of the state is in the next risk level up, while the Denver metro area is two levels higher than the least restrictive designation.

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