A mask mandate begins on Friday in the city of Boston.

From 8:00 a.m., all persons 2 years and older entering indoor shops, clubs, municipal buildings, event venues, gyms, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops or holding public gatherings must wear a mask.

The arrangement extends to all interior decorations, but does not require masks for informal gatherings in private homes.

The mandate comes as COVID-19 cases continue to increase due to the delta variant.

The number of new COVID cases in Massachusetts rose about 10% last week from the previous week. Massachusetts reported 1,793 new COVID cases and 13 deaths on Thursday. The number of hospital stays, which increased much faster that week, dropped to 565 for the second straight day.

Transmission remains high in the Suffolk County community, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recommends even fully vaccinated individuals wear masks indoors in areas of significant or high risk. Every county in Massachusetts falls into one of two categories.

While the mask mandate in Boston extends to performance venues, performers are not required to wear masks during a show, but they must remain two meters away from customers.

Anyone who does not follow the mandate is subject to a court order.

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