Yesterday, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that the Commonwealth is on track to meet the goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by the first week of June and all remaining COVID-19 restrictions including the face covering order will be lifted effective May 29. The Department of Public Health will issue a new face covering advisory consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance.
Governor Charlie Baker will end the State of Emergency June 15. The Administration also announced updates that will be effective May 18 to revise face covering requirements for youth and amateur sports and other guidance relating to childcare programs and K-12 schools. The Administration will release updated guidance for summer camps effective May 29.
The Administration reports that they are able to take these steps to reopen the Commonwealth’s economy because Massachusetts is on track to meet the goal set in December to fully vaccinate over 4 million individuals by the first week of June. The Commonwealth leads the nation in vaccinating residents, with 75% of adults receiving at least one dose. New cases have dropped by 89% since January 8. COVID hospitalizations are down 88% since January 1 and the positive test rate is down by 88%.
Effective May 29
- All industries will be permitted to open. With the exception of remaining face-covering requirements for public and private transportation systems and facilities housing vulnerable populations, all industry restrictions will be lifted, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries. The gathering limit will be rescinded.
- All industries will be encouraged to follow CDC guidance for cleaning and hygiene protocols.
Face Covering Guidance
- In line with updated CDC guidance, the Administration will issue a new face covering advisory effective May 29.
- Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks and to continue distancing in most settings. The advisory will also recommend fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face covering or social distance indoors or outdoors except for in certain situations.
- Face coverings will still be required for all individuals on public and private transportation, healthcare facilities and providers, congregate care settings and health and rehabilitative day services.
- Face coverings will also remain required indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers. Click here for state mask guidance.
Youth and Amateur Sports Face Covering Guidance
- Effective May 18, the youth and amateur sports guidance will be updated to no longer require face coverings for youth athletes 18 and under while playing outdoor sports.
- Effective May 29, all youth and amateur sports restrictions will be lifted. Click here for youth sports guidance.
K-12, Early Education, and Summer Camp Guidance
- Effective May 18, guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care will be updated to no longer require masks for outdoor activities like recess and to allow for the sharing of objects in classrooms, in both K-12 and childcare settings. This guidance will remain in effect beyond May 29.
- The Administration will release updated guidance for summer camps, effective May 29, which will include no longer requiring masks for outdoor activities. Click here for DESE guidance. Click here for EEC guidance.
State of Emergency Order
- Governor Baker will end the State of Emergency June 15.
- The Administration will work with legislative and municipal partners during this period in order to manage an orderly transition from emergency measures adopted by executive order and special legislation during the period of the State of Emergency.