BOSTON (CBS) — Calling it part of “the new normal”, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that everybody in the state will have to wear a face mask or covering while in public. The new emergency order, which goes into effect on May 6, is the state’s latest step to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“I signed an executive order requiring residents to use a face covering in public places when they cannot socially distance from others,” said Baker. “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.”

The order does not apply to children under the age of two or to people who are unable to wear a face mask or face covering due to medical conditions.

READ: Homemade Face Covering Instructions From CDC

It does apply to all workers and patrons of businesses which are open to the public, and anyone on public transportation. Baker said he would leave fines and enforcement up to individual cities and towns.

“As infectious disease specialists continue to learn more about COVID-19, it’s clear that this virus is highly contagious, and can be spread from person to person without symptoms,” Baker said. “A significant portion of the people who actually carry the COVID-19 virus never show any symptoms at all, but they are in fact contagious.”

As of Thursday, Massachusetts has 62,205 cases of coronavirus. The number of confirmed cases appears to be plateauing, Baker said earlier this week.

Non-essential businesses have been ordered to stay closed until May 18. The governor has said reopening the state will occur in phases.

Wearing masks will be one component of the process to reopen: “We view this as common sense and an important way on a statewide basis to establish, for the long term, a set of standards for what we would call’ the new normal,'” Baker said.

“This is going to be basically a way of life, okay? There’s no ifs, no ands, no buts, no doubts. And I certainly think that, for the most part, if you can’t distance inside or outside you’re going to be expected to wear a face covering or a mask.”

Comments (31)
  1. Vincent Vega says:

    Please define “in public”? If I am walking my dog in the woods, I am not wearing a mask!!!

  2. Pizza says:

    ALL JOBS ARE ESSENTIAL!! If it keeps a roof over your head and food in your stomach, it’s an essential job !! What gives this Clown authority over how I live my life. “The New Normal”?? Oh Hells no !!! You gonna start arresting people who are exercising their Constitutional rights? Country has gone Fascism over covid.

  3. John Volpe says:

    What happens if the mask police see me without a mask? A fine? Jail time? A free mask?

    1. tcg says:

      Fine, they are losing revenue from meals and gas tax, so every bit they can suck from you the better!

  4. 911WASanINSIDEjob420 says:


  5. Frank DeLorey says:

    Welcome to the People’s Republic of Massachusetts betrayed by a RINO

  6. Roberto says:

    This is ridiculous. What’s next? For how long? It’s now going to become the assumption that everyone around them is sick? Since when did our leaders become advocates of assumption?

  7. DJM says:

    I will gladly out of respect for other people wear a mask in a grocery store, a department store and
    any other large place where I am inside with other people. Or if ordered to do so by my job when I can go back to work because my job is non essential. But if Governor Baker expects me to wear a mask while I am outside in the fresh air exercising or driving inside my car he has got another thing coming! Also who is going to enforce this? The police can’t even enforce the speeders that are on the highway doing 100 mph! This is such an infringement on our basic rights. And talk about locking the barn long after the horse got out! If the state was going to do this it should have been done 2 months ago before the virus was spread intensively. I can’t wait to move out of this state. Hopefully I won’t do it until Baker is up for reelection. Because I want to be here to vote against him.

    1. 911WASanINSIDEjob420 says:

      well said!!!!

    2. Frank DeLorey says:

      I agree. If I wanted a Democrat Governor I would have voted for one. He needs to change his party affiliation so we can get a real Republican candidate to run against him.

    3. Patrick says:

      He very clearly said twenty seconds in “….I signed an executive order requiring residents to use a face covering in public places WHEN they cannot socially distance from others.”

      Let me highlight that. …”when they cannot socially distance from others.”

      One more time, “when they cannot socially distance from others.”

      Seems like everyone in this thread is cherry picking what they hear so they can create a moment for themselves. Not singling you out DJM. You seemed to be more rational than most.

      1. mark says:

        “Safely socially distancing” ourselves is a subjective term. We are leaving it up to the police to determine the interpretation of what is safe social distancing. So, if a cop feels you are “unsafe” walking your dog without anyone around, expect to be fined and the officer to be “acting within the scope of his power.” When we leave the interpretation of everyday freedoms up to the discretion of the police we have entered a “police state.” Welcome to the new America. It was due to happen in time.

      2. Tom says:

        I agree that being required to wear a mask is rather forceful if excessively enforced.

        There is this from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

        Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.

        You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.

        Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.

        Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

        The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

        Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.

        Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

  8. Matt says:

    Homemade face masks have not been proven to do more harm than good. A majority of the population do not have access to legitimate masks. Will we be provided them because wrapping a scarf or a sock around your head only harbors the infection if it comes into contact with it. Especially because it is damp from breathing. This is now a police state. Congrats.

  9. John Galt says:

    This is a further unnecessary and ridiculous reaction to a cultivated panic. According to the WHO 300,000 – 600,000 people (including, children) die EVERY YEAR from the flu. According to the WHO and CDC, approximately 300,000 have died from the flu this year (estimated 80,000 in the US). The flu has infected 50-75 times the number of people infected by covid-19, and has resulted in more deaths and hospitalizations. Thus, a person is statistically more likely to have a severe illness from the flu, rather than covid. Yet, this is buried and ignored so that the covid panic can be cultivated and reviewed without context.

  10. rmills807 says:

    Our civil rights have gone right out the window.

    1. tcg says:

      yes they have, and no one cares! its all to deflect from the horrible job he has done protecting our seniors!

  11. tcg says:

    Channel 4, a couple of ?’s to ask the Gov.
    – How many millionaires are on his 17 person panel charged with opening the State?
    – Why isn’t he touring the Holyoke Veterans home or any other nursing facility?
    – Doe’s his house have a media room for watching his favorite shows?
    – Does he have a conflict of interest with the health care industry where he made millions as a CEO
    – How many State employees have lost there jobs?
    – How many beds were used at the DCU center, and at the conventions center for ACTUAL patients? (please no homeless or respite’s)
    – Is the emergency morgue still setup in Fitchburg?
    – Finally he doesn’t seem to have a exit plan? First, stay home for 2 weeks, then a month, now another two, how much pain does he intend to inflict on the people of MA?

  12. Marty Piermarini says:

    With this order you will never be re-elected!!

  13. david says:

    this is ridiculous, other places are opening up and here we are creating more restrictions on something that is CLEARLY not anywhere near being “deadly” enough to warrant this extreme over reaction, media & politicians, we are not all SHEEPLE and America see’s what you are doing , this facemask requirement and the entire “crisis” is a farce.

  14. It is clear to me, that this Governor is lost in space! What’s next for the citizenry?, wearing your underwear on the outside so they can check? How about letting us be adults and let US make our own decisions and stop treating US like babies or cats. I do not need the State to tell me how to behave in public, I am 68 years old and I can make my own decisions concerning health and welfare issues. Sadly, Governor, you and political leaders like you are the reason a civil war is coming to keep our God given human rights and constitutional Bill of Rights. Lastly, I have not seen the public as mad and distrustful of government as it is now; I fear this is going to get nasty real soon.

  15. vivian engle says:

    Okay Governor Baker am I wrong to be upset that I am being forced by the government to purchase a product from China to go out in public? Believe me I have tried the cloth ones and I feel like I am suffocating. I will happily wear a mask, now you find me one…preferably a box of them…made in America and I will need to have them delivered in 5 days or less. Thank you.

  16. David says:

    Next thing we know is that all our rights are gone. Bake is overreaching his authority! Is he going to give everybody free masks or is he going to force people to buy their own which some people cant afford.

  17. Frank DeLorey says:

    Time for a rally. Allowing the Government to decide which businesses are “essential” is a very horrible idea. Letting them dictate your personal behavior in the name of some false sense of safety is insane.

    1. DJM says:

      And why start this May 6th? Why not start it right now? Governor Baker if you are truly worried about the virus spreading more than why wait 4 more days? By waiting until the 6th your are allowing the virus to spread more. If that is your true concern implement the mask policy immediately. All you’re decisions as Governor on this crisis don’t make any sense at all.

    2. tcg says:

      the only way to make headway against this is to go public, that said it seems like the State is rolling over. I’m employed, and will be, so I wonder where all the small business owners are? Where are the citizens who lost their jobs? They need to be the vocal majority. Just the MAGA folks, which are immediately diminished.

  18. Matt says:

    Why do I see this ending with guillotines like the French Revolution? Perhaps this is just wishful thinking. Something has to happen if “merica” truly wants to destroy the fabric of its institution util the next dictator arrives. Well done Baker you power hungry sack of human excrement. Now go back to your mansion while you tell us we are all staying home together while the rest of us are going stir crazy without masks in our studio apartments. If you want EFFECTIVE masks, (not cloth ones that do nothing) to prevent the spread of disease than you better provide them otherwise this plan is pointless and a far reaching of political authority that has Caesar written all over it.

  19. HT Manion says:

    comletely unenforceable municipalities have no mechanism there are no printed citations, nor are there any statutes for the police to use

  20. tcg says:

    Do not ever go to a Davios again – Steve DeFillippo, CEO of Davios Restaurants. Member of the 17 Member Board tasked not to open MA!

  21. don macleod says:

    Ya ok! Sorry no mask for me. I’ll just shop and dine (soon) in NH. NO MASK REQUIRED!

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