Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to End Mask Mandate, All Coronavirus Restrictions

FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2016 file photo, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker speaks during a conference of New England's governors and eastern Canada's premiers to discuss closer regional collaboration, in Boston. Massachusetts Democrats are hoping to take a notch out of Republican Gov. Baker's sky-high popularity numbers by lashing …
AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday that he would eliminate the statewide mask mandate, along with all other coronavirus-related restrictions, on May 29.

“We said since Day 1 that we’ll get through this together, because the people in Massachusetts are strong, kind and willing to sacrifice to help their neighbor,” Baker said at a press conference. “Today — more than ever — we know that’s the truth.”

Baker’s announcement follows guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which now assert vaccinated Americans do not need to wear masks, indoors or outdoors, in most situations.

“The message from us is, if you’re fully vaccinated, the data and the guidance from the CDC is pretty clear: you’re very unlikely to transmit it, you’re very unlikely to get COVID [Chinese coronavirus],” Baker said. “If you’re not vaccinated, you should get vaccinated.”

Baker also highlighted vaccination efforts in the state, saying Massachusetts is on track to meet its goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by the first week of June.

“Today Massachusetts leads the nation in vaccinations and we’re on track to meet the goal that we set for ourselves back in December,” Baker said. “People took the fact that the vaccine was a big part of our way out of this seriously and that’s a big part of why we’re here today talking about this.”

“We are now prepared and protected, and we can move forward together,” Baker added.

On May 29, businesses and other operations in the state will be allowed to open at full capacity with no limits, however they can implement whatever rules they feel are necessary to slow the spread.

“Businesses are going to make decisions about what they think makes the most sense for their employees and their customers, and we should all be respectful of that,” Baker said, reflecting on his move to shut down private businesses during the pandemic. According to Baker, it was one of his “most difficult decisions.”

“The temporary limits and restrictions imposed on the private sector and on individuals were the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Baker said.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R-MA) was also on hand for the event where she credited the state’s success with reopening fully to the residents who “have chosen to participate in the the vaccination program.”

“We know that there are much brighter days upon us and ahead of us,” Polito said. “And it’s largely due to the access that people here have to the vaccine and that so many people have chosen to participate in the vaccination program.”

In addition to the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, Baker announced that the state of emergency will end on June 15.

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