Wyoming became the latest state to ease its Covid-19 rules in defiance of the Biden administration’s guidelines, as Governor Mark Gordon announced that his mask mandate and restrictions on businesses are ending.

Effective on March 16, bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms will be allowed to resume normal operations, and the statewide mask mandate will end, Gordon said on Monday in a statement. Masks will continue to be required in schools, and residents are encouraged to keep wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces.

“Wyoming is one of the few states in the country that kept students learning in the classroom for the entire school year,” Gordon said. “We made sacrifices, but the earlier orders saved lives. We persevered.” Keeping the mask requirement in place for schools will allow students – who won’t have the opportunity to be vaccinated this spring – to have proms, graduations and other normal end-of-year activities, he added. (RT)