MA Lifting All COVID-19 Restrictions May 29
The state’s mask mandate and all business and capacity restrictions will be lifted in less than two weeks.
- Mike Carraggi, Patch Staff
- Posted Mon, May 17, 2021 at 8:03 am ET|Updated Mon, May 17, 2021 at 11:47 am ET
The mask mandate will be lifted May 29, though there will still be a few situations where face coverings will be required. (Jenna Fisher/Patch)
BOSTON — Massachusetts will lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions, including the mask mandate, on May 29, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday morning.
Face coverings will still be mandated in a small number of places, such as nursing homes, hospitals, public and private transportation and schools, regardless of one’s vaccination status.
The Department of Public Health will issue new mask guidance consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when the mask mandate is lifted. Businesses will still have the option of requiring masks.
The state on Tuesday will drop the mask requirement for youth athletes playing outside and students at outdoor recess.
Baker also said the state of emergency will end June 15 — more than 15 months after it was put into effect.
“The temporary limits and restrictions imposed on the private sector and on individuals were the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Baker said. “The loss and the isolation so many of our friends and families experienced is likely to impact all of us for a very long time.”
The state is on pace to hit its goal of fully vaccinating 4.1 million people by June, Baker said.
“Massachusetts is getting vaccinated faster than virtually every other state in the country,” he said. “We’ve gotten to this point because we followed the science, and the people of Massachusetts did the hard work and made the sacrifices. We are now prepared and protected, and we can move forward together.”
Baker’s announcement Monday is the most significant non-vaccine-related update given since the very beginning of the pandemic. It comes one day shy of the year anniversary of his first reopening announcement.
Baker had recently said the state would be reopened by Aug. 1. That timeline was dramatically accelerated after the federal government’s guidance last week that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors.
“I think for everybody in Massachusetts it’s been a really, really, really long year,” Baker said. “I think the challenges and the tragedies that have, in many cases, accompanied everything with COVID have been really rough on people.”