Most COVID-19 restrictions in Massachusetts will be lifted on Saturday, May 29, Governor Charles D. Baker Jr. announced Monday, May 17.
With the state on track to reach its goal of 4.1 million residents vaccinated by the first week of June, Gov. Baker said that all businesses and industries will be able to open at full capacity on May 29. All gathering limits will also be rescinded.
On the same day, the state's face covering order will end and be replaced by an advisory that is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new guidance that vaccinated people will be able to go mask-free in most settings.
Face coverings will still need to be worn in limited scenarios such as on public transportation, in nursing homes, and in healthcare facilities. Staff and students in K-12 schools will need to continue to wear masks while indoors.
Private stores and restaurants may also choose to continue asking customers to wear face coverings.
People who have not been vaccinated will not be required to wear face coverings, though they are advised to do so and to continue to practice social distancing.
In addition to not having to wear face coverings, fully vaccinated people will no longer have to socially distance and will be able to return to activities they were involved in before the pandemic began.
Updated guidance on face coverings for K-12 schools and youth athletics will go into effect May 18. This guidance states that youth and amateur athletes will no longer be required to mask up while playing outdoor sports.
Masks will also not need to be worn in outdoor settings at summer camps.
In school settings, students will be able to remove their masks in outdoor situations, such as recess. Additionally, students will once again be able to share physical objects in classrooms such as books and toys.
Massachusetts will no longer be in a State of Emergency due to the pandemic effective June 15.
Since January 8, new COVID-19 cases have dropped by 89 percent in the state and hospitalizations are down by 88 percent since the first of the year.