Arkansas governor: No local mask mandates when state’s ends


FILE – In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks to reporters in Little Rock, Ark. Hutchinson on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, signed into law legislation banning nearly all abortions in the state, a sweeping measure that supporters hope will force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit its landmark Roe v. Wade decision but opponents vow to block before it takes effect later this year. (AP Photo/Andrew Demillo, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ governor says cities won’t be able to enforce their own mask mandates to curb coronavirus’s spread when the state’s requirement ends as soon as next week.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters Tuesday he expected Arkansas’ mandate to end March 31 since the state has so far met the requirements for new cases and hospitalizations he set for its end.

Arkansas’ virus hospitalizations and new active cases continued to drop on Tuesday.

An attempt to override Hutchinson’s veto of a bill requiring the state to refund fines imposed on businesses for violating virus restrictions also failed on Tuesday.

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