BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Charlie Baker has signed an executive order requiring all Massachusetts residents over the age of two to wear a face covering when outside during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Baker announced the order during a press conference on Friday afternoon, and said it will go into effect on Wednesday, May 6th.
"As we continue to think about the future and a return to a new normal, covering our faces when we cannot practice social distancing is an easy, critically important, and essential step that everyone can and should take to stop or slow the spread," said Baker. "Earlier today, I signed an executive order requiring residents to use a face covering in public places when they cannot socially distance from others."
The order does not apply to anyone under the age of two, for those who cannot wear a face mask or covering due to medical conditions or other Department of Public Health-issued exemptions.
Baker said he has also ordered the DPH to issue additional guidance for parents and guardians for children between the ages of two and five years old.
"This requirement applies to all workers and customers of businesses and other organizations that are open to the public," said Baker. "The public is required to wear a face covering at all times in grocery stores, retail stores, or on public transportation."
The face coverings can be made from breathable clothing like a bandana or a t-shirt. Baker said disposable masks are also an option, but residents are discouraged from buying medical-grade masks, which should be prioritized for health care workers and first responders.
Baker said the state's mobility data shows that Massachusetts residents are co-operating with stay-at-home and social distancing orders "in many ways, to a greater extent than in practically any other state, if you believe some of the reports that are out there."
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