Could businesses in New Mexico see COVID-19 restrictions return?

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Last week Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham brought back the indoor mask requirement and expanded some COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

In a one-on-one interview with KOB 4, Lujan Grisham said bringing back restrictions on businesses – like capacity limits – would be an extreme last resort. She said she is feeling confident the indoor mask requirement and new vaccine policy will be enough to avoid bringing back restrictions on businesses.

"If everyone is wearing masks indoors, and businesses are working with us, and most of them are – thank you for doing that, businesses – and our vaccine policies are working, we’re seeing vaccine surges," the governor said. "We’re even seeing in health care that 50% of the number of folks who wouldn’t get vaccinated have already initiated vaccines. So it’s working. Businesses should see that those tough decisions were aimed at protecting businesses in the state."

However, the governor did say that all options are still on the table as the Delta variant continues to spread across the state.

Kai Porter: You said everything’s still on the table. Would that be a last resort for you? Is that kind of like the last thing you want to do is bring restrictions back?

Gov. Lujan Grisham: Like extra last. Last and then something, something, something. And here’s the reason – more than the economy, more than the uncertainty for business, we want people to have confidence. I do too. Now that we have tools, they have the science behind that confidence, that we can get to a normal, and if you have to use these tools, these extreme tools, we minimize people’s confidence that, in fact, we can use science to control this pandemic.

Last week the governor required COVID-19 vaccines for all workers in certain medical close-contact congregate settings, like hospitals, nursing homes and jails. School teachers and staff in the state are also required to be vaccinated, but they can also get tested regularly if they don’t get the vaccine.