Starting Friday, masks will no longer be required outdoors as long as social distance is maintained, according to new guidance from Gov. Charlie Baker.
Face coverings will only be required outside when it’s not possible to socially distance and at other times required by specific guidance. The new guidance is only for outdoors as face coverings will still be required at all times for indoor public places and at events held indoors or outdoors except when eating or drinking.
Boards of health spokesperson and Tisbury health agent Maura Valley said: “At this point I’m not sure how the governor’s announcement will affect local orders. This issue will need to be discussed with the health agents and our boards of health to determine next steps.”
Several other reopening changes are also set for the following weeks. On Monday, May 10, road races and other large outdoor organized athletic events will be allowed to take place with staggered starts after submitting safety plans to local boards of health. Youth and amateur adult sports will be allowed, singing will be permitted indoors with distancing requirements at restaurants and event venues.
Beginning May 29, gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for event venues both public and private. Street festivals, parades, agricultural festivals can open at 50 percent capacity and bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries can have seated service only with a 90 minute limit subject to public health and vaccine data and after submitting plans to boards of health. Restaurant guidance will also be updated, per public health data, to eliminate food served with alcohol and to increase the maximum table size to 10.
If public health and vaccine data continues to trend in a positive direction on August 1, all industry restrictions will be lifted and capacity will increase to 100 percent of all industries and gathering limits will be rescinded.
The Communication Ambassador Partnership is hosting its second COVID-19 forum Wednesday night at 7 pm. The forum will focus on information on vaccinations and feature panelist discussion and an opportunity for the public to ask questions. The forum will also be featured in both English and Portuguese. The Zoom link for the forum can be found here or by webinar ID: 916 2345 6440 with passcode: 120029.
The Martha’s Vineyard boards of health reported 11 cases of COVID-19 in the past two days — nine on Sunday and two on Monday.
Last week, the boards of health reported 61 confirmed cases in a decline of total weekly positive results from previous weeks.