Rhode Island’s state-wide mask mandate lifted Friday, boosting local business

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Rhode Island’s state-wide mask or proof of vax mandate has been lifted Friday, following Governor Dan McKee’s announcement earlier this week.

McKee said that the decision was made after consulting with the state’s top medical professionals, after seeing a downwards trend in state-wide daily COVID cases of over 94% since mid January.

“Thanks to Rhode Islanders stepping up to do the right thing, together we’ve made considerable progress against COVID-19 and the winter surge,” said Gov. McKee.

Rick Simone, the President of the Federal Hill Commerce Association, said on Friday that restaurants in Federal Hill have already seen a boost in sales since Wednesday’s announcement. He adds the timing in lifting Friday’s restriction was key- for crowds celebrating the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day weekend.

Simone says in Federal Hill restauraunts, owners have reported that its occupation and reservations have soared from about 50% to close to 100% for the upcoming weekend.

“After McKee’s announcement of these mandates being lifted… it’s given people a sense of comfort,” Simone adds.

The state-wide mask mandate for schools will end on March 4, and will be left to local districts to make a decision on masking.

Gov. McKee said that the March 4 date was chosen to give enough time for parents to make plans and decisions to allow their children to be vaccinated.

In Rhode Island, the state-wide mask mandate for students and staff members has been in place since the return of in-person learning in September 2020.

This announcement, coming hours after Governor Baker announced Massachusetts’s school mask mandate will be lifted February 28th, and be left up to local leaders to decide masking protocols.



Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island