May 17, 2021 by Carol Britton Meyer
Effective Saturday, May 29, all Massachusetts businesses and industries have the green light to reopen at 100 percent capacity per order of Gov. Charlie Baker, who made the announcement today. The State of Emergency will end on June 15.
This includes bars, beer gardens, nightclubs, festivals, parades, saunas, health clubs, ball pits, and indoor water parks, and others. All industries and businesses will be encouraged to follow Centers for Disease Control guidance for cleaning and hygiene protocols.
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, along with the limit on gatherings.
Because the state is on track to meet the goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by the first week of June, Baker said, all remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted effective that date, along with the Commonwealth’s face covering order.
Massachusetts leads the nation in vaccinating residents. To date, more than four million residents have received a first dose, with 3.2 million fully vaccinated.
New cases have dropped by 89 percent since January 8, and COVID hospitalizations are down 88 percent since January 1.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health will issue a new face covering advisory consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance.
Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue to wear face masks and to social distance in most settings. The advisory is expected to recommend that fully-vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face covering or social distance indoors or outdoors except in certain situations.
Face coverings will still be mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, and all MBTA services, including commuter rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities, and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care facilities.
There are also revised face covering updates, effective May 18, for youth and amateur sports, childcare programs, and for schools. Face coverings will continue to be required indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers. Updated guidance for summer camps will also be released, effective May 29.