Boston to lift mask mandate for businesses and other places
Boston plans to lift its indoor mask mandate for businesses and many other places starting this weekend.
On Tuesday, Mayor Michelle Wu pointed to improving COVID-19 numbers in the city as key to her decision to lift the mandate from Saturday.
Masks will still be needed in schools, public transportation, and health care and worship facilities, in accordance with state and federal mask orders.
Earlier Tuesday, the city’s board of health voted unanimously to approve the city’s public health commissioner’s recommendation to rescind the ordinance.
Wu said the decision was made based on COVID-19 metrics showing continued improvement in the prevalence and severity of the pandemic in Boston.
Starting Saturday, Boston residents and visitors will no longer be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, such as gymnasiums, bars and restaurants, museums and entertainment venues. Individual businesses can always choose to require masking.
Boston Public Schools will continue to require masking as school leaders monitor metrics including school positivity and vaccination rates after last week’s school vacation.
The masking requirement will be waived in city buildings, including for city employees, with the exception of Boston Public Schools and the Boston Public Health Commission.
Masks are recommended in city buildings where vulnerable populations are served, such as Boston Public Library branches and community centers.
“I am grateful that our city is ready to take this step in our recovery thanks to the hard work and commitment of the residents who are keeping our communities safe for many, many months,” Wu said.
Although masks are no longer required in certain indoor environments, the Boston Public Health Commission recommends masking in these environments for people at high risk of serious illness or for people who will be around individuals who are. Wu said.