FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WKRC) — Kentuckians will no longer be required to wear masks at outdoor events with fewer than 1,000 people, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday in easing his rule to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are making a change in our masking executive order,” Beshear said during a news conference Monday afternoon.

The governor said his decision stems in part from the growing number of Kentuckians receiving COVID-19 shots, though the statewide vaccination pace has slowed in recent weeks.

“It means if you are at a backyard barbecue, if you’re at your community pool, if you are at an outdoor wedding … you are not required to wear a mask,” Beshear said at a news conference.

“So you’ll still need to wear one at work,” he said. “You’ll still need to wear one at the grocery store. You’ll still need to wear one at the drugstore.”

Mask-wearing will still be required in Kentucky when attending outdoor events drawing more than 1,000 people, the governor said. That means masking rules will remain in place at the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday, he said.

“Things like the Kentucky Derby, you still have to wear a mask. I spoke to the CEO of Churchill Downs today. We agreed with the number of people that masking rules must continue,” Beshear said.

Beshear went on to say the state still recommends anyone not vaccinated to wear a mask any time they’re in public.

The governor wasn’t the only one with a change to mask-wearing. Kings Island will allow people to skip the mask when inside the park unless they are indoors, and crowds won’t be limited as much as they were in 2020. It opens May 15.

On Coney Island’s website, it says: “2021 face covering requirements will be determined based upon the most recent state board of health guidelines.” It looks like that could be up in the air as it prepares to open at the end of May.


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