Starting this weekend, masking will still be recommended but will no longer be required in indoor, public spaces
Mayor Michelle Wu and Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, commissioner of Public Health and executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, announced on March 1 that starting March 5, the City’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted. The City’s Board of Health voted unanimously to support the recommendation of Ojikutu, and the decision was made based on COVID metrics which revealed that there has been continued improvement in the state of the pandemic in Boston. According to a media release, “Beginning this Saturday, residents and visitors to Boston will no longer be required by the City to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces, such as gyms, bars and restaurants, museums, and entertainment venues. Individual operators may still choose to require masking. Public transportation, health care settings, and congregant care settings are still subject to state and federal mask orders.” The requirement will also be lifted in City buildings, except for Boston Public Schools and Boston Public Health Commission.
“I’m grateful that our city is ready to take this step in our recovery thanks to the hard work and commitment of residents keeping our communities safe over many, many months,” said Wu. “As we continue to make progress even while living with COVID, Boston will continue leading on public health to keep our communities safe, healthy, and prepared.”
“Based on the data we have seen over the past weeks, we can remove some of the prevention and mitigation strategies that have been necessary to protect residents,” said Ojikutu. “I am optimistic about where our city is headed, and the Commission will continue to monitor our key metrics and adjust our policies accordingly.”
“Mayor Wu and Dr. Ojikutu have guided our City through the latest surge with steady hands and thoughtful, informed public health decisions,” said Manny Lopes, chair of the Boston Board of Health. “Based on the data BPHC has presented, we feel confident in the recommendation to lift the masking order.”
Masks will no longer be mandated in indoor, public settings, but the Boston Public Health Commission recommends masking if you are at risk for severe illness or will be around people who are.
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.