Massachusetts lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated people


File photo by Chris Triunfo

Governor Baker announced at press conference held Monday that the mask mandate would be lifted for fully vaccinated individuals by the end of the month.

Kelly Garrity, city editor

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday that fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to wear masks or socially distance in most indoor and outdoor settings starting May 29. Additionally, athletes who are 18 years old or younger will not be required to wear masks while playing sports outdoors, nor will K-12 students participating in outdoor activities such as recess beginning May 18. 

“Massachusetts is on track to reach its goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by early June, and this level of protection makes this step possible for the people of the Commonwealth,” Baker said.

Masks will still be required in certain settings, including public and private transportation, schools, healthcare facilities and congregate care facilities, such as group homes, shelters and prisons. The state also advised that unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks and social distance in most settings.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced later in the day that the city of Boston will be aligning with the state’s decision, ending mask requirements for vaccinated people with the same exceptions. 

“Because of Boston’s progress, I am making the decision to align with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and lift COVID restrictions on May 29,” Janey said. “But, let me be clear, our battle against COVID is not over. Reopening our city will only work if we all continue to do our part to fight the pandemic.”

Janey also announced plans to double the city’s investment in the Vaccine Equity Grant Initiative, providing $3 million in funding to nonprofit groups working to increase vaccine access in the communities that were hit the hardest by COVID-19.