NEWBURYPORT — Gov. Charlie Baker’s lifting of the outdoor mask mandate as of Friday drew mixed reactions from local leaders.
Amesbury Mayor Kassandra Gove’s office announced Tuesday that “Mandatory Mask Zone” signs downtown and in popular outdoor spaces will come down as of Friday.
“We do expect that if people are out and about and are unable to physically distance, they will continue to wear masks,” Caitlin Thayer, the mayor’s communications director, said in an email.
But Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday said there will be no immediate decisions regarding the city’s mask mandate until she has more details and consults with the Health Department and Board of Health.
Baker’s order reads that beginning Friday, face coverings will only be required outside in public when it is not possible to socially distance “and at other times required by sector-specific guidance.”
Face coverings would still be required at all times in indoor public places as well as indoor and outdoor events, except when eating or drinking, the order reads.
Thayer said Gove hopes people feel better about how far the city has come since the start of the pandemic and look forward to getting back to favorite summertime activities unavailable last year.
“People have been so diligent about following the guidance and it’s understandable that it will take some time to get used to having the restrictions lifted, but as we and the governor are still following the science and the data, this is a good sign for Amesbury and Massachusetts,” Thayer said.
Holaday said she is “as eager as anyone” to ease the wearing of masks but the city needs to move forward safely.