By Lisa Gresci

BOSTON (CBS) – A new mask mandate is now in effect in Belmont. It’s one of a growing list of communities now requiring masks indoors.

As of midnight, anyone over the age of two must wear a mask in all indoor spaces that are open to the public in Belmont, regardless of their vaccination status.

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Town officials announced the emergency order due to increasing COVID-19 cases and positivity rates.

Belmont is in Middlesex County, which is currently considered at substantial risk of COVID transmission by the CDC.

The new mask regulations include hair salons, fitness clubs and churches. In restaurants and bars you’ll be able to remove your mask once seated.

The only exception to the mandate is if you have a medical condition or disability.

The mandate will remain in effect until Middlesex County is considered at low or moderate transmission over a period of two weeks.

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All businesses open to the public must post the mask requirements at their entrances.

Rachid Smairi, the owner of Bellmont Cafe, began enforcing the mandate on Monday.

“I personally have no problem wearing one as you can see. I can see the reaction of customers. A lot of them are not going to be happy. And that means to us losing business,” he said.

Smairi said he was starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel after a year of dealing with the COVID pandemic. Now, he said he’s starting to feel some concern again.

“The improvement of the vaccine and all of that, things started going great. Now, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to continue that direction, and it’s very scary for us,” Smairi said.

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Belmont is just the latest community adding an indoor mask mandate, joining Cambridge, Nantucket, Provincetown, Somerville, and Wellfleet.

Lisa Gresci