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Denver public health order lifts capacity limits, distancing and mask requirements for most settings

michael hancock
Posted at 6:33 PM, May 14, 2021

DENVER — Beginning Sunday, the City and County of Denver is lifting capacity limits and requirements for distancing and face coverings in most settings, following with neighboring jurisdictions and new guidance from the CDC.

The revised public health order includes the following changes:

  • There will be no capacity limits in offices, retail businesses, restaurants, personal services or bars.
  • Restaurants will have no limit on party size.
  • Gyms, recreation centers and pools can continue to operate at full capacity and will no longer have distancing requirements.
  • Indoor events of more than 500 people must get approval from DDPHE and CDPHE.
  • Outdoor seated and ticketed events in spaces 30,000 square feet or greater must get approval from DDPHE to increase their current capacity allowances.

Denver’s face covering order will align with the state’s, with masks no longer required for anyone fully vaccinated except in settings like hospitals, childcare centers, homeless shelters, nursing homes and prison. Some private businesses may also choose to continue requiring face coverings.

Earlier Friday, Gov. Jared Polis also announced Colorado's mask requirement was lifted in most settings, calling the change in the state order a shift from requirements to "suggestions."

More than 42% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated in Denver, and about 39% have received one dose. During an event Friday, Mayor Michael Hancock said he hopes this serves as an incentive for those who are not vaccinated to do so.

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Denver’s residents, our recovery continues to gain momentum,” Hancock said. “The number of people getting vaccinated is going up every day and our case rates are steadily declining. It’s time to say goodbye to capacity limits and distancing requirements, and for those of us who are fully vaccinated, time to remove our masks in most circumstances. And to truly put this pandemic behind us, we still need more of our residents to get vaccinated. That is the absolute best way to protect ourselves, our families and our city.”

Because of the change in the public health order, Denver’s 5 Star Business Certification Program is being suspended, and applications will no longer be accepted. If restrictions need to be reimposed in the future, the program will resume.