Tennesee lifts COVID restrictions, mask mandates for most counties

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced that the statewide COVID-19 public health orders have been lifted and local authority to issue mask mandates in 89 of 95 counties is no longer allowed.

Lee signed Executive Order 80 which states COVID-19 is no longer a “statewide public health emergency in Tennessee.” “As Tennesseans continue to get vaccinated, it’s time to lift remaining local restrictions, focus on economic recovery and get back to business in Tennessee,” Lee said.

Counties with independent health departments that have remaining business restrictions or mask requirements are asked to lift all measures no later than the end of May. Local health departments will now offer a walk-up option to receive the vaccine, in addition to appointments for all Tennesseans 16 and older.

Lee’s decision comes as Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a series of reopening moves for New York on Monday, including the New York State Fair in Syracuse will be held in person this August. Cuomo also raised capacity limits on a number of businesses, including outdoor stadiums, offices, and fitness clubs.