Mayor Curry opts to end Jacksonville’s mask mandate

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mayor Lenny Curry has opted to allow Duval County’s mask mandate to expire this week.

Since June, Curry had kept a mandate in place requiring anyone over the age of 6 to continue wearing a face mask or face covering while in public indoor spaces, including employees and customers at businesses within city limits -- with certain exceptions.

The mandate had followed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that even after getting a vaccine people should wear masks to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the decisions I’ve made have been based on data. I’ve worked with hospital leadership, researchers, emergency management and more to make decisions that will help keep our community safe. At this time, based on current data, I have decided to lift the mask mandate that requires masks be worn indoors, in public spaces, where you could not be six feet apart,” Curry said in a statement.

Curry said that even though he decided to lift the mandate, businesses can still require customers to wear masks.

“This action demonstrates that we are another step closer to getting back to normal, but we are not there yet,” he said. “I encourage citizens to continue to take personal responsibility and make choices that they feel best protect themselves, their loved ones, and neighbors. Wear a mask when you can’t social distance, wash your hands frequently and, if you are eligible, I encourage you to get the vaccine.”

News4Jax checked with some local businesses about their plans now that the mask mandate has been dropped.

Brent Boger, whose family has owned a Five Points shoe store for over 50 years, said it’s a positive step but since most of his customers are older, he plans to keep his mask on and will ask his customers to do the same.

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