New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Wednesday a slight easing of COVID-19 restrictions, while also announcing some increased restrictions as of Saturday, May 16.
While Lujan Grisham said the state would start allowing retailers and some other businesses to open to the public with capacity limitations, she also said the new public health emergency order will require everyone in the state to wear a face and nose covering when in public spaces.
She said many businesses, with the exception of entertainment businesses like movie theaters, could open this weekend as long as they keep their capacity at 25 percent of what the fire code allows. She said those businesses must also continue to take certain precautions against spreading COVID-19.
Large retail “box” stores would have their capacity capped at 20 percent. The easing of restrictions would not apply to Cibola, McKinley and San Juan counties, which are in northwestern New Mexico and have experienced the most cases so far. But those counties would see the restrictions moved to the “preparation phase” which the rest of the state has been in since May 1. “It means that we expect you to have COVID safe practices, that your employees and staff are wearing masks and anything else that really works at stopping the spread of the virus,” Lujan Grisham said.
She also announced the shift to require, everyone to wear masks or nose and mouth coverings in public areas.
“This is very different than what I said last week,” Lujan Grisham said.