Avon considers updates to mask mandate, open container designations
Town is reevaluating some its 2020 COVID-19 mandates and declarations as the pandemic situation evolves
As the town of Avon prepares for a full summer of visitors and festivities, the Town Council is reevaluating some of its’ 2020 COVID-19 mandates and declarations.
At Tuesday’s Avon Town Council meeting, council members will vote to repeal the emergency ordinance that requires indoor face coverings in indoor public spaces. This ordinance was made in June 2020 due to rising COVID-19 infection rates based on the consensus that face coverings would slow the spread of the virus and in anticipation of a significant number of summer visitors.
This does not mean that the town is ready to completely get rid of its mask mandate. Instead, if the Town Council repeals the mandate, it will defer to Eagle County and state of Colorado public health orders. Currently, both the state and county require indoor face coverings.
“Due to the strong and growing pace of providing vaccinations to the public, the State of Colorado has indicated that they intend to relax and phase out public health orders at the state level over the next two months,” wrote Eric Heil, Avon town manager, in a report ahead of Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.
This new ordinance clarifies the initial declaration by stating that the town will explicitly follow the county and state public health orders. The initial mandate had made it such that the indoor mask mandate would be automatically repealed when the council declared that COVID-19 was no longer a public health emergency.
Outdoor dining and alcohol consumption
In addition, at the meeting, Heil will provide a report to the council on open container declarations for the summer.
Last year, in response to restaurants being limited to take-out only, the town of Avon designated a number of public areas for open container and public consumption. These areas included Nottingham Park, the Main Street Pedestrian Mall and other town parks.
According to Heil’s report in the meeting packet, he is intending to designate only Nottingham Park for open container consumption. This designation includes the Avon Pavilion Stage, Main Field area and Terrace. Open containers will not be allowed in event areas that sell alcohol.
This situation will be monitored closely this summer, and if considered successful, Heil anticipates that this designation will continue every spring through fall. The other areas are to be removed from the designation due to community complaints about alcohol consumption on the Main Street Pedestrian Mall.
“Limiting open container consumption to Nottingham Park will avoid confusion as well as inappropriate consumption near the Avon Recreation Center,” he wrote.
While this mandate was in place to support restaurants last summer, much is still unknown for restaurants as they head into warmer months with restrictions still in place. This includes uncertainty as to whether or not indoor dining restrictions will relax over the summer. However, according to Heil’s report in the packet, two things are known. For one, restaurants will be able to utilize outdoor seating from April 14 to Nov. 1, 2021, weather permitting. Secondly, the town does not anticipate that restaurants will be limited to take-out over the summer, like they were at certain points last year, as the COVID-19 situation improves.
The Town Council will discuss the indoor mask mandate as well as the open container designations at the Tuesday meeting at 8 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at email@example.com.