Iowa governor issues proclamation ending most business COVID restrictions, mask mandate

For nearly a year, Americans have endured lockdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic — business restrictions, school closures, stay-at-home orders, and mask mandates — to varying degrees depending on the state in which they reside.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) just took a big step toward returning her state to normalcy with a proclamation that ended or relaxed most of the pandemic-related restrictions that had previously been imposed, the Washington Examiner reported.

“We know what we need to do and it doesn’t require a government mandate to do it,” Reynolds told the media Wednesday, according to local ABC affiliate WQAD.

“I trust business owners will continue to make decisions on how they operate that is in the best interests of their customers and their employees,” she added.

Restrictions relaxed

The proclamation, issued on Feb. 5, did away with most of the mandates and requirements and replaced them with strong encouragement for businesses and individuals to use common sense and voluntarily adhere to recommended guidelines from public health officials.

“I strongly encourage that all businesses or other employers remaining open with in-person operations take reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure the health of employees, patrons, and members of the public, including social distancing practices, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health,” Reynolds wrote.

“This section shall not be a basis for closing or taking enforcement action against a business or other employer absent an additional specific order or directive of the Iowa Department of Public Health,” she added.

The proclamation stands in contrast to a proclamation from Reynolds issued on Jan. 7 that continued a number of restrictions on the operation of businesses in the state, including capacity limitations, mask mandates and other stringent requirements.

Business owners decide

Jessica Dunker, CEO and president of the Iowa Restaurant Association, told The Center Square, “They’re asking businesses to stay responsible, so I think the net result is going to be that there aren’t going to be big changes overnight in most restaurants and bars.”

“I think they will slowly — knowing that they can comfortably accommodate people — they might expand how many people they can have come in, but they want to do it safely. They probably will keep their staff in masks. But what will be simpler is not being put in a position to have to police your customers,” she continued.

Dunker noted that enforcement of the prior restrictions had been difficult in some instances and that the restaurant industry on average had lost nearly a third of its revenue — and more than 50% in some places — while straining under the confines of the strict limitations and mandates.

“I think generally the loosening of restrictions is good for restaurants and bars because it puts the power back into the hands of the owners to choose how to most effectively keep people safe,” Dunker added. “A restaurant can talk about their own mitigation steps and the things that they’re not mandated to do, but that they’re choosing to do, as a differentiator over another restaurant.”

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22 Responses

      1. Same here in Ohio. He finally lifted a stupid curfew since November. Wonder when other states will follow suite. FL doesn’t have a 😷 mandate. Found that out today.

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  2. If all businesses and restaurants owners take heed and follow CDC guidelines as for as hygiene and the washing the hands, following good standards I believe that this country can and should re-open for business and return to work, if we continue to be scared then we might as well just bury our heads and kiss our butts good bye

  3. To bad this could not be done months ago. It’s because Dr. Fauci is tied to the virus which he, another doctor, believe from the U.S., were testing a way to duplicate viruses in the Wuhan Lab. It was done in a U.S. Lab as well. Not rumors. Fact. And yet the WHO, China and others are hiding it. Even the Biden administration. This is not right. Some people know this has been hidden. The so called Science, has been a lie. People know how to be responsible. More than the government. Give us the facts and let us make the decisions. Instead they lie and lock us down. Message your governors and officials.

  4. God bless Iowa and thank you for being first to open businesses and to trust your people to use common sense. We’re all so tired of the mandates and want to live the way we used to before the government stepped in and made these mandates. Hopefully Tennessee and all other states will follow your lead. Thank you again.

    1. I totally agree. Back to living is a good thing. No one is anxious to die or see their loved ones die. Be sensible. Use your brain for your safety and that of others.

  5. The people of Iowa should be thankful that their governor is not like the Three Stooges that are the governors of the west coast states.

  6. Had my little used mask tested. Much Farci flip flopping found along with traces of liberal insanity. How does the DCC say to destroy it? Probably blanket it with another mask.

  7. The county of Mojave in AZ the county supervisor told the Governor You run the state I’m running my county. We have no mask mandates since October 2020 and restaurants are open. I still haven’t found a good one yet but they are open.

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