Montana governor relaxes COVID-19 restrictions on businesses

National News

This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. (NIAID/National Institutes of Health via AP)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Wednesday that he is removing existing health mandates issued by his predecessor.

Gianforte, a Republican, said the restrictions are harmful to the state’s businesses.

Under the new rules, which take effect Friday, restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos will no longer be required to close at 10 p.m. They will also no longer be required to limit capacity to 50%.

Those requirements were put in place by Democratic former Gov. Steve Bullock in November as the state reached an apex in daily reported COVID-19 cases.

A statewide mask mandate issued in July remains in place.

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