The Missouri tourist town of Branson is ditching its mask mandate early after electing a new mayor who ran on a platform that called for doing away with it.

Newly elected Mayor Larry Milton said that the “city heard your voices loud and clear" after the Board of Alderman voted 6-0 on Tuesday night to repeal the public masking ordinance effective Friday. The ordinance was first enacted July 31 after extensive discussion amid rising COVID-19 case counts.

Last month, the Board of Aldermen voted 4-2 to repeal it, but delayed implementation until May 24 to allow Branson’s tourism industry an opportunity to vaccinate its front-line workers.

But that wasn’t fast enough for Branson voters.

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