Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions via executive order Thursday, March 25. This order follows a previous executive order issued by Ducey lifting occupancy limits early in March.
In the most recent order, Ducey entirely lifted restrictions on businesses first implemented due to COVID-19; previous health mitigation efforts are now considered recommendations. Cities, counties and towns are no longer allowed to issue orders conflicting with this new executive order, including new mask mandates.
"Any city, town or county that has a rule, regulation or ordinance not in place as of March 11, 2020 that is in conflict with the provisions of this order shall not be enforced," the order stated.
Ducey's executive order comes as a surprise, even though Arizona recently experienced a decrease in new COVID-19 cases, with Pima County reporting an average of 82 daily cases.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero called Ducey's actions "pre-mature" in a statement released on Twitter Thursday.
"Governor Ducey's actions are pre-mature and will jeopardize Arizona lives unnecessarily," Romero wrote. "The vast majority of Arizonans are not fully vaccinated and the threat of more contagious, lethal variants remains."
Almost 27% of people in Arizona have been vaccinated, and about 30% of people in Pima County have received a vaccine according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Follow Priya Jandu on Twitter