Massachusetts mask mandate to be lifted for fully vaccinated May 29


BOSTON (WPRI) — The majority of remaining COVID-19 restrictions in Massachusetts will be lifted Memorial Day weekend, Governor Charlie Baker announced Monday.

All industry-related restrictions will end on Saturday, May 29, and capacity will increase to 100% across the board, Baker said, adding that the limit on social gatherings will also be lifted.

Additionally, the face-covering requirement will be dropped for people who are fully vaccinated, aligning with new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Massachusetts is on track to reach its goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by early June and this level of protection makes this step possible for the people of the Commonwealth,” Baker said.

Mass. Department of Public Health data released Monday shows 3.2 million people are fully vaccinated in the state.

Health officials also reported 281 new coronavirus cases and 19 additional people had died after contracting the virus.

The data shows 336 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, with 96 patients in the intensive care unit and 56 on ventilators.

Masks will still be mandatory for everyone, including those fully vaccinated, on public and private transportation systems, as well as in health care facilities and other settings with vulnerable populations.

Unvaccinated individuals must wear masks in all indoor public settings and outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible.

Baker also said the state of emergency he issued in March 2020 will end on June 15.

“Rather than relief, what I really feel is gratitude for the way the people of Massachusetts have responded to this,” he said.

Starting Tuesday, May 18, face coverings will no longer be required for youth and amateur sports, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced. Additionally, they don’t have to be worn during outdoor activities like recess at K-12 schools and early education providers.

Polito added that students will be permitted to begin sharing objects during class, such as books and toys.

Summer camp guidance is expected to be announced soon and will include face coverings not being required for outdoor activities, according to Polito.

“We are making these updates after consultation with our medical advisory board to reflect the latest CDC guidance around outdoor face coverings and surface transmission, while keeping our children safe,” she explained.

Masks will remain a requirement indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers.

Last week, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee announced the state’s mask mandate is being lifted for fully vaccinated individuals on Tuesday, May 18.

He also moved plans to go to 100% capacity for businesses and social gatherings a week earlier to this Friday, May 21.

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