HINESVILLE, Ga. (WSAV) — As COVID-19 related restrictions continue to be lifted across the nation, the City of Hinesville has followed suit.

The city said it will return to pre-pandemic operations, eliminating face mask requirements within city buildings and allowing more seating for City Council meetings.

A year ago, the city signed a mask mandate into law requiring masks inside public buildings, retail stores, restaurants, salons, grocery stores and pharmacies. A $1,000 fine was also attached to the mandate.

City Manager Kenneth Howard said the decision to impose a mask mandate was to protect residents, employees and elected officials in Hinesville.

“At the time we made the decision to implement a face mask requirement within our City buildings and
modify the procedures for our Hinesville City Council meetings, we immediately outlined the
parameters that would need to be met to roll back those decisions – to essentially return to
normal operating procedures. We’re happy to report that our community is now there, and we
look forward to transitioning to our pre-pandemic operations,” Howard said.

Although the city rescinded the order, it said it still encourages residents to wear face masks, especially for those who remain unvaccinated.

“As we look forward to getting back to normal life, we also want to remind our community that
we need to continue looking out for the health and safety of each other,” Mayor Allen Brown
said. “If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, please wear a mask and practice social distancing
until you are. Getting vaccinated is the key to stopping COVID-19 and keeping our community
safe.”