BOSTON (WPRI / AP) – It’s almost normal again in Massachusetts.
Governor Charlie Baker lifted almost all COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday, including a statewide face-covering mandate that existed during much of the pandemic.
The mandate is replaced by a mask recommendation that reflects recommendations from federal health authorities. Unvaccinated people are still encouraged to wear masks in public areas, especially indoors.
There are still places where masks are required, including on public transport.
Baker has also said that some companies may still require customers and visitors to keep wearing masks. Customers should respect these stores and put on a mask while inside, he said on Friday.
Some of the companies hardest hit have been restaurants where visitors can be re-invited to eat indoors without restrictions.
“Today is the day,” said George Mihailides Jr., owner of Seekonk’s Eats restaurant. “We wore the masks 11 hours a day and it’s very daunting, it’s hot, it’s a hot kitchen. Today I was very happy to take off the mask. “
“When you are fully vaccinated, masks are optional,” he added.
About half of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.
Baker will officially lift the state of emergency from the Massachusetts pandemic on June 15.