Face masks will be required for anyone age two and up in all indoor public settings in Boston beginning 8 am on August 27th.
Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced the public health order issued by the Boston Public Health Commission on August 20 as part of a plan for the Delta variant, a more contagious COVID-19 variant that is now the primary strain of the virus.
Janey stressed that the city is proactively implementing this health order ahead of the thousands of returning college students from all over the world, and before 50,000 students return to Boston Public Schools. The majority of most of the 100,000 children who live in Boston are too young to be eligible to be vaccinated.
“There is nothing more important than Boston’s safe recovery, reopening, and renewal from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Janey. “We know that masks work best when everyone wears one. Requiring masks indoors is a proactive public health measure to limit transmission of the Delta variant, boost the public confidence in our businesses and venues, and protect the residents of our city who are too young for vaccination.”
“The Delta variant continues to create an additional challenge to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Rita Nieves, the Interim Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “Wearing a mask indoors along with getting more people vaccinated will offer more protection to all our residents, including children under 12 and those who are not able to get vaccinated.”
The Boston Public Health Commission order applies to anyone two and older whenever they are indoors on the premises of a business, club, place of assembly or other place that is open to members of the public, including but not limited to retail establishments, restaurants, bars, gyms, performance venues, social clubs, event spaces, and municipal buildings.
Face coverings may be removed when someone is actively eating or drinking. You still must wear a mask if you're ordering or dancing. The order does not apply to those in a private residence when no compensation is paid, private buildings that inaccessible to the public, places of worship, private workspaces inaccessible to the public, or performers maintaining six feet of distance from the audience.
As part of the city's plan, $30 million has been allocated to improve heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in Boston Public School buildings. HVAC installations and upgrades will occur throughout the school year.
Previously, Janey announced that all city workers must be vaccinated.