Massachusetts relaxes outdoor mask mandate as pandemic eases

The City of Attleboro has reinstated a mask mandate for city buildings. (FILE)

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts residents who are able to socially distance from others no longer have to wear a mask outdoors.

Gov. Charlie Baker earlier this week announced that the state was relaxing the outdoor mask mandate as of Friday as the numbers of hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19 continue to decline in the state — and the number of people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus continues to climb.

Masks will only be required outside in public when it’s not possible to maintain a distance of approximately 6 feet (2 meters) from others — or when required for other reasons, including at outdoor events.

Face coverings will still be required at all times in indoor public places, including stores. Store owners can still refuse entry to any customer who refuses to put on a mask.

Face coverings will also continue to be required at all times at events, whether held indoors or outdoors and whether held in a public space or private home, except when eating or drinking.

At smaller gatherings in private homes, face coverings are recommended but not required.

The $300 fine that had been put in place as an enforcement mechanism, but was rarely used, will also be eliminated.

Categories: Coronavirus, Massachusetts, News, Regional News