Capacity-based restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic will end in New Mexico on July 1, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Friday, which means all companies will be able to open at 100 percent capacity.
“The simple fact is: We are beating this pandemic,” the governor said.
The opening is the most dramatic rollback of COVID-19 restrictions since March of last year, when New Mexico declared a state of emergency. It comes as the state continues to increase the number of people who are vaccinated.
The state has not yet reached its goal of 60 percent of those age 16 or older becoming fully vaccinated, but it is approaching, with the latest update on Friday showing 59.4 percent of those 16 or older with either both Moderna or Pfizer shots or the one shot Johnson & Johnson shot. It takes two weeks after completing the vaccination series for the COVID-19 vaccine to be fully effective.
Lujan Grisham said the state needed to do better than a 60 percent fully vaccinated rate.
Those who are not vaccinated will still be required to wear masks and businesses can implement their own requirements.
Every county in the state has already been at the turquoise level for weeks, which is the highest level of being “open” under the current system.
Even so, the state will continue to push for more New Mexicans to become vaccinated. The state has adopted a sweepstakes with millions of dollars in prizes and gave out $100 in incentives to those who received their second shot earlier this week.
“I know some will say this day is late in coming. I sure wish we’d gotten here sooner. I said all along: Vaccines are the way out, getting shots gets us there quicker,” Lujan Grisham said. “We were always going to put health and safety first. All along we have taken the approach that will protect the most New Mexicans, knowing the unique health risks of our population, understanding and respecting how dangerous this virus is.”
All New Mexicans 12 or older are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.