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Charlie Baker orders people to wear masks in public, no matter how far they are from other people

Charlie Baker announced "targeted measures" to stem what appears to be a resurging coronavirus in Massachusetts, including tightening the state's mask-wearing order.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

With coronavirus cases on a worrisome rise, Governor Charlie Baker says Massachusetts residents must now wear masks in public places, no matter what their distance is from other people.

He updated his previous mask order, which only required mask-wearing in public places where social distancing of “approximately six feet” wasn’t possible.

The new order requires everyone above the age of 5 to wear a face covering in public. We’re making this clear for everyone. No more exceptions —and no exemptions for when you can maintain social distance,” Baker said at a State House news conference.

“It’s our hope that this simpler, more straightforward rule becomes easier for the public to follow and easier for local officials to enforce this mandatory order this way,” he said.


The stricter mask order was one of a bundle of “targeted measures” Baker announced Monday to stop the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Masks or face coverings are encouraged but not required for children age 2 to 5, according to the order.

The order applies to both indoor and outdoor public places. Like the previous order, which went into effect on May 6, it covers, among other things, grocery stores, pharmacies, and retail stores; public transportation, taxis, livery, and ridesharing vehicles.

The new order also covers any location that hosts indoor or outdoor events or performances, carpools with non-household members — and “public streets and ways.”

“We’re basically saying, ‘If you go out in public, wear a mask,’” Baker said.

Martin finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.