SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts announced Thursday that mask and physical distancing requirements will be lifted after Friday.

According to a news release from the office of the New Mexico Supreme Court, masks and physical distancing will not be required for any person inside a New Mexico courtroom or jury assembly area after Friday. Jurors will also no longer need to answer health screening questions to enter a courthouse.

Officials said in the release that this decision was in relation to Friday’s expiration of New Mexico’s declaration of a public health emergency. However, some proceedings may continue to be conducted remotely.

“As we move forward and resume normal operations, courts can fully use all available space in courtrooms and jury assembly areas to conduct more trials and hearings,” Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon said in the release. “Our courts adapted, innovated and remained open to serve the public despite many hardships during the past three years of the pandemic. This was possible because of many dedicated New Mexicans, particularly jurors, judicial employees, judges, hearing officers, attorneys, law enforcement and others who adhered to the COVID-safe policies of courts to preserve the availability of justice services.” 

Officials said in the release that courts will continue to make masks available to any juror who wishes to wear one.

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