Baker Issues Order Rescinding COVID-19 Restrictions

On Friday afternoon, 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The Order also rescinded most COVID-19 restrictions, including limitations placed on businesses, which went into effect on Saturday, May 29 as Massachusetts nears the goal of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.”

Effective May 29, all industries were 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 percent for all industries. All gathering limits were also rescinded.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.

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