RI, Mass. to lift outdoor mask mandate Friday for vaccinated residents

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Rhode Island plans to lift its outdoor mask mandate for fully vaccinated residents earlier than initially planned.

Gov. Dan McKee said Tuesday that fully vaccinated Rhode Islanders will no longer be required to wear face coverings while outdoors in public, except for in crowded settings and venues, starting April 30.

The outdoor mask-wearing mandate was initially supposed to be lifted on May 7.

McKee said he made the decision to lift the mandate earlier after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its mask-wearing guidelines.

“Vaccinated people have more flexibility when it comes to when and where they are recommended to wear masks. There are vaccination appointments available today. Don’t miss your shot,” McKee said.

He also said it’s important for everyone to remember that they aren’t fully vaccinated until two weeks after their final recommended dose.

Masks will still be required for indoor settings, except for when eating or drinking.

Massachusetts will also be lifting its outdoor mask mandate for vaccinated residents on Friday.

Face coverings will only be required outside in public in Massachusetts when it is not possible to socially distance, and at other times required by sector-specific guidance.

Masks will also continue to be required at all times at events, whether held indoors or outdoors and whether held in a public space or private home, except for when eating or drinking.

At smaller gatherings in private homes, face coverings are recommended but not required. A $300 fine as an enforcement mechanism will be eliminated.

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