Massachusetts will lift nearly all COVID-19 restrictions on May 29, moving up the reopening timeline by about two months. The state’s current mask order will be rescinded on that date, with Massachusetts aligning with the guidance for fully vaccinated people issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Masks will still be required in some settings, including on public transportation, and businesses can set their own requirements for vaccinations and masking.
Here’s what’s changing for businesses and gatherings:
- There will no longer be capacity limits on indoor or outdoor gatherings.
- All businesses can operate at 100 percent capacity, and restrictions will be lifted
- Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries, and distilleries can reopen.
- Time limits, table-seating caps, and social-distancing requirements at restaurants will be rescinded.
- Dance clubs and nightclubs can reopen. Saunas and hot tubs at fitness centers, health clubs, and other facilities can reopen, along with indoor water parks and ball pits.
- Street festivals, parades, and agricultural festivals can be held.
Under the state’s current order, people must “wear masks or face-coverings in indoor public places and outdoors when they are unable to maintain 6 feet from other people.”
Here’s what the new mask rule means:
- Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face covering or social distance indoors or outdoors, except in certain situations.
- Unvaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks and to continue distancing in most settings.
- Face coverings will still be required on public and private transportation. That includes ride-hailing and livery services; taxis; MBTA buses, subways, commuter trains, and stations; health care facilities; congregate care settings; and health and rehabilitative day services.
Schools and summer camps
- Face coverings are still required indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers.
- Children in schools and summer camps no longer will be required to wear masks during outdoor activities, even if social distancing cannot be followed.
- Adults must continue using masks outdoors in these settings if distance can’t be maintained, according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Due to the “low likelihood of surface transmission of COVID-19,” the department wrote, students can share classrooms objects such as toys, books, and art supplies without disinfecting them between uses.
- Effective May 29, children at summer camps will not be required to wear masks during outdoor activities. Camp leaders can choose whether to require vaccinations for staff members or older attendees.
— COMPILED BY AMANDA KAUFMAN AND FELICIA GANS