Acting Mayor Kim Janey announces indoor mask mandate for Boston


Dana Murtada

Boston City Hall

Sarah Barber, deputy city editor

Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced Friday that face coverings will be required in all indoor public settings beginning Aug. 27, per public order from the Boston Public Health Commission.

The mandate requires that all individuals over the age of two wear a facial covering in indoor public spaces, including “retail establishments, restaurants, bars, performance venues, social clubs, event spaces, and municipal buildings,” according to a press release from the mayor’s office. 

“There is nothing more important than Boston’s safe recovery, reopening, and renewal from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Janey said in the press release. “We know that masks work best when everyone wears one. Requiring masks indoors is a proactive public health measure to limit transmission of the Delta variant, boost the public confidence in our businesses and venues, and protect the residents of our city who are too young for vaccination.”

Individuals are allowed to remove their face coverings for active eating and drinking, but they must remain on at all other times while indoors. The mandate does not apply to private buildings and workspaces, places of worship, private residences and performers who are more than six feet away from the audience. 

The decision is in accordance with the city’s Five-Point Plan for the Delta variant of COVID-19. 

The Five-Point Plan includes equitable vaccine and booster access, vaccine mandate for city workers, new HVAC investments for schools, mask mandate for schools and city buildings and a new mask mandate in all public spaces. 

“Boston’s five-point plan for the Delta variant places vaccination and prevention at the center of our COVID-19 response,” Janey said in the press release. “I ask that every resident of Boston do their part to keep our city safe. Get vaccinated, wear your mask, wash your hands, and get tested, especially if you have traveled, are experiencing symptoms, or have been exposed to the virus.”