Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued an updated executive order on Monday, officially ending mandatory masking in most indoor settings in the state.
According to the new order, masks will no longer be required inside of most businesses and will not be required inside of schools, but those institutions will be allowed to enact their own mask requirements at their own discretion, according to the order.
“Across the state, Illinoisans are taking their masks off today knowing that most eligible adults are boosted, and our hospitals have much more capacity to save lives,” Pritzker said in a statement. “I’m proud that Illinoisans have done the hard work that has made our state a leader in the Midwest, with more of our residents vaccinated than any other state in the region.”
The new executive order states that select institutions will still require employees and other individuals to wear facial coverings. That includes long-term care facilities, as they are under the jurisdiction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Employees, visitors and residents will be required to wear facial coverings inside of those facilities.
The governor’s order also requires residents, staff and visitors to congregate facilities, such as correctional facilities and homeless shelters, and to health care settings to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
Finally, all individuals over the age of 2 will still be required to wear masks while using public transportation, including planes, trains and buses, per guidance issued by the federal government.
The state’s mask mandate expired on Monday after being in place for nearly six full months. The governor cited recent improvements in COVID case numbers and hospitalizations as being a driving force behind the decision, while also putting to rest debates over how far the governor’s legal authority extended in approving the mandates.