Politics · May 28, 2021

Massachusetts Governor: Order Rescinding COVID-19 Restrictions

Governor Baker Issues Order Rescinding COVID-19 Restrictions on May 29 and Terminating State of Emergency Effective June 15

BOSTON, MA (STL.News) Governor Charlie Baker joined Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders to sign an Executive Order terminating the Commonwealth’s State of Emergency effective June 15, 2021.  The Order also rescinds most COVID-19 restrictions, including limitations placed on businesses, as of tomorrow, May 29 as Massachusetts nears the goal of vaccinating four million residents.  This week, the Commonwealth passed the 3.5 million mark for fully vaccinated residents.

“Today marks an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19 here in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker.  “Over the last 15 months, the residents of Massachusetts have shown an incredible amount of strength and resiliency, and we are pleased to take this step forward towards a return to normal.”

“With restrictions ending tomorrow and continued progress towards our vaccination goal, Massachusetts is on a path towards renewing our economy and returning to normal,” said Lt. Governor Polito.  “We look forward to working with communities across the state to help them get their main streets and downtowns back up and running and for a sustained recovery ahead.”

Effective May 29, all industries will be permitted to open. With the exception of remaining face-covering requirements for masks in public and private transportation systems, hospitals and other facilities housing vulnerable populations, all industry restrictions will be lifted at that time, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries.  All gathering limits will also be rescinded.

To continue certain public health requirements, like requiring face coverings in certain settings, to remain effective past June 15, Governor Baker today issued a modified declaration of a public health emergency under the public health statute.

Under this order, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Health will be proposing to the Public Health Council the continuation of some public health orders in the coming weeks to maintain flexibilities and policies for vaccination, testing and other critical operations.

Earlier this week, Governor Baker filed legislation to extend certain emergency measures currently in place via executive orders that are set to expire on June 15 with the end of the State of Emergency.  The bill would extend measures providing for a temporary suspension of certain open meeting law requirements, special permits for expanded outside dining at restaurants, and surprise billing protections for COVID-19 patients.