Massachusetts town will keep mask mandate despite state easing rules

An affluent Massachusetts town will continue to require residents and visitors to wear face-coverings while outside — despite the state lifting its outdoor mask mandate last week.

Officials in Brookline, a Boston suburb, announced on Friday that they would delay complying with Gov. Charlie Baker’s order to relax face coverings in public places.

“Out of an abundance of caution and in our residents’ best interests, the Town of Brookline will not follow suit with the state’s decision to lift the outdoor mask mandate today,” Health Commissioner Dr. Swannie Jett said in a statement.

“Our face covering requirement has served as a protective layer that limits the possibility of spreading COVID-19 and we are reluctant to relax it at this time.”

The mandate will remain in place at least until it is reviewed by the town’s Advisory Council on Public Health, the statement said.

Baker on Tuesday had announced that the state was easing its outdoor mask mandate, allowing people to not cover their faces outside in public, when social distancing is possible.

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