Boston, Coronavirus Updates, Metro

Massachusetts to Lift COVID-19 Restrictions on May 29

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will lift all industry COVID-19 restrictions and capacity limits on May 29, Governor Charlie Baker announced on Monday. 

“We’re safer, smarter, and better equipped in this fight than at any time since it began,” Baker said in a press conference on Monday.  

Gathering limits will be rescinded and all businesses can operate without restrictions, according to the Commonwealth’s website

Massachusetts will also lift the mask mandate on May 29, abiding by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s updated guidance about mask-wearing for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, according to the state’s website

“At that time, the Department of Public Health will issue a public health advisory, urging all unvaccinated residents to wear face coverings in most indoor settings,” Baker said. “The department will advise all vaccinated residents that it’s safe to go back to doing the things we all used to do before this pandemic, consistent with the CDC’s new guidance.”

The CDC’s order mandates face coverings for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in nursing homes, health care settings, public transportation, and schools. 

The May 29 reopening date for the Commonwealth is more than two months ahead of schedule, as Baker announced in April that all industries in Massachusetts were set to reopen beginning Aug. 1. The City of Boston planned to follow a modified version of this plan, reopening later than the Commonwealth’s schedule. 

Massachusetts is a leader in vaccinations within the United States, with over 3.1 million Massachusetts residents fully vaccinated and 75 percent of adults with at least one dose as of Monday, Baker said. The Commonwealth is set to achieve its goal of vaccinating 4.1 million people by early June, Baker said.  

The state of emergency due to COVID-19 in the Commonwealth—which Baker announced on March 10, 2020—will be lifted on June 15. 

“Everyone who works, lives, or studies in Massachusetts has been or will be offered a vaccine at a time and place that is convenient for them,” Baker said. “There’s no cost and no insurance or ID required. If you’ve not yet gotten vaccinated, please, get vaccinated to protect yourself and your family.” 

As the transition out of COVID-19 restrictions continues, Baker said some businesses may choose to set their own requirements for mask-wearing and social distancing. 

“We encourage them to do whatever works for them, for their employees, and for their customers, and we also encourage everyone to be respectful and to follow those requirements if a private organization puts them in place,” Baker said.  

Because it is unlikely that vaccinated people will spread COVID-19, Baker said, he is confident in the Massachusetts reopening plan. Nearly every student in the Commonwealth is back to in-person education, and all industries will be able to reopen at whatever capacity they are comfortable with, according to Baker. 

“We said since day one that we’ll get through this together because the people in Massachusetts are strong, kind, and willing to sacrifice to help their neighbor. Today more than ever, we know that’s the truth,” Baker said.

Featured Image by Johnathan Ye / Heights Senior Staff

May 18, 2021