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Phoenix will keep mask mandate in defiance of Ducey

The announcement comes two weeks after Gov. Doug Ducey lifted all COVID-19 safety measures across the state.

PHOENIX — Phoenix mayor Kate Gallego announced on Tuesday that face coverings will still be required in public areas across the city.

The announcement comes two weeks after Gov. Doug Ducey lifted remaining COVID-19 safety measures across the state.

Under Ducey’s order last month, cities or counties were only able to enforce mask wearing in government buildings and on public transportation.

“I stand with the majority of the Phoenix City Council who agree that the governor’s unilateral decision to order cities to abandon mask requirements is a case of significant government overreach. The governor’s authority is not without limits," Gallego said.

"Every aspect of our economic recovery depends on defeating this virus. Every credible health expert, including the CDC1, has confirmed that masks are the best technique for staying ahead of COVID-19, and are the best and fastest way to fully reopen and recover."

The measure stated that COVID-19 requirements for businesses are now recommendations, meaning that it’s now up to each individual business if they want to require masks inside their establishments or set social distancing rules.

Private businesses can set their own mask requirements.

Ducey resisted pressure to implement a statewide mask mandate last year, but eventually allowed local governments to require face coverings and most in the state did. 

RELATED: Ducey lifts remaining COVID-19 restrictions in Arizona, but not all Valley businesses will comply

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Read Gallego's full statement below: