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Anchorage to revoke mask mandate; Juneau eases mask rules

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s largest city is revoking its mask mandate, making mask-wearing advisory, starting May 21, the acting mayor’s office announced Friday.

Anchorage Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson’s office in a statement said people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are encouraged to wear masks. Applying a mask mandate only to those who are not vaccinated would have created enforcement challenges and issues for businesses, the statement said.

The decision follows guidance released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that allows people who are fully vaccinated to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. The federal guidance calls for masks on planes, buses and other forms of public transportation and at airports.

The city said businesses in Anchorage still can require mask-wearing.

In Juneau, restrictions remain in place for those not fully vaccinated. Those who are fully vaccinated no longer have to wear masks in indoor public areas or at crowded outdoor events and do not have to wear masks at gyms, under the rules announced Friday.

Masks are required regardless of vaccination status in Juneau in places like the hospital, school district facilities and other settings that choose to require them, according to a statement from the city.

The Associated Press