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Birmingham’s Mask Ordinance Expires, Unlikely to be Extended

Stanley Robinson of the Birmingham Parks and Recreation department models a BhamStrong mask made by CHRISTINE Mclean and her group of people .
By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times

The City of Birmingham’s mask ordinance officially expired on Monday and city officials have shown no interest in extending it.

City Councilor Hunter Williams, who has consistently opposed the ordinance, calling it ‘government overreach’, said expiration of the ordinance is the right thing.

“I think the fact that the CDC, state health officer and county health officer are all not recommending the masks, I think it is appropriate to not have the city recommending it when the three medical experts are not recommending it,” he said.

Since more than 120 million people in the Unites States have received the COVID-19 vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) announced last week that face coverings were no longer necessary for those who are vaccinated. Eight states have lifted their mask mandates since the announcement, but cities can impose their own mandates.

In April, the City of Birmingham extended its mask mandate after Governor Kay Ivey’s statewide mask ordinance expired on April 23. Ivey allowed individual municipalities, schools and businesses to decide for themselves if masks would be required and most businesses and all schools in the state have maintained their orders.

While the city will no longer require a mask, businesses have the right to require a mask or not of patrons and individuals have the right to choose to wear one or not.

“I completely support all the businesses that still want to require a mask,” Williams said. “That is a decision between the business owner and their business, and I think the city will be supportive of it, the patrons will be supportive of it, I just don’t think we should mandate that they do it,” he said.

The city council is not set to vote to extend the mask order on Tuesday.