Governor Charlie Baker said on Friday that he will issue an update the state’s reopening plans early next week, a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance on mask-wearing and social distancing for fully vaccinated people.
“The new [CDC] guidance is great news,” he wrote in a tweet Friday morning. “We will be updating our reopening plans early next week.”
The new @CDCgov guidance is great news. We will be updating our reopening plans early next week.— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) May 14, 2021
Massachusetts is on track to vaccinate more than 4 million residents soon. Please stay safe while we prepare next steps to return to our new normal.
Under the Baker administration’s current reopening timeline, on May 29, gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 outdoors, and restaurants can increase table seatings to 10 people. The Baker administration has said most remaining limits can be lifted on Aug. 1 so long as infection rates trend downward.
Prior to Baker’s latest comments, acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey indicated the city will continue to follow the state guidance on indoor masks, and Boston plans to lift other business restrictions three weeks after the state does.
Other states in the New England region have been moving on a more accelerated reopening timeline than Massachusetts. For example, Connecticut will lift most pandemic restrictions next week, and Rhode Island is planning to eliminate all capacity limits on businesses by Memorial Day weekend on May 28.
The CDC’s mask guidance for fully vaccinated individuals specifies that people should continue to follow state and local guidelines for mask wearing. In Massachusetts, a mask mandate remains in effect which requires masks in indoor public places and outdoors where people cannot keep their distance from others.
On Thursday, businesses around the region reacted with a mix of optimism and concern to the health agency’s new guidance. Most office employers told the Globe the update does not change their reopening timelines, but other businesses said they were preparing to face confusion from the public over the rules.
Anissa Gardizy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @anissagardizy8 and on Instagram @anissagardizy.journalism.