Massachusetts lifting COVID-19 restrictions ahead of Memorial Day

Massachusetts lifting COVID-19 restrictions ahead of Memorial Day
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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) on Monday announced that all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in the commonwealth will be lifted on May 29, in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The lifting of restrictions on May 29 includes rescinding the commonwealth’s face covering order. The new guidance also recommends that fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear masks or social distance indoors or outdoors, according to a press release from Baker.

Face coverings, however, will still be mandatory on public and private transportation systems, including ride-shares, livery, taxi, ferries, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subways and buses and commuter rail.

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Additionally, masks will be required in health care facilities and other locations with vulnerable populations like congregate care settings.

Baker advised unvaccinated individuals to continue wearing face masks and physical distancing in most settings.

Starting May 29, capacities will increase to 100 percent for all industries, and the commonwealth’s gathering limit will be lifted.

Additionally, Baker announced that Massachusetts's state of emergency will end on June 15.

“The commonwealth was tested … But together we all fought back,” Baker said, according to The Associated Press.

Baker, in a press release, said Massachusetts is on track to vaccinate 4.1 million residents by the first week of June.

The new guidance marks a significant turning point in Massachusetts’s recovery from the coronavirus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 702,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Massachusetts, according to The New York Times.

The commonwealth has recorded more than 17,000 deaths as a result of the pandemic.

According to Baker, new COVID-19 cases have dropped in Massachusetts by 89 percent since Jan. 8, and hospitalizations are down 88 percent from Jan. 1, The AP noted.

Baker’s announcement comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume life without any restrictions.

With the new guidance, vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear masks indoors or outside or maintain physical distance.