Massachusetts residents who venture out of their homes will soon have to do so while wearing a cloth face covering.
Gov. Charlie Baker said the order would require anyone over the age of 2 to wear masks while outside and unable to maintain the proper physical distance needed to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Masks will be required at all times while inside grocery and retail stores, and on public transportation.
The order goes into effect on Wednesday, May 6.
"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.
Children under age 2 and anyone who can't wear a mask due to a Department of Public Health-recognized medical condition are exempt from the order. The state will also create more guidelines for children between the ages of 2 and 5 to help parents and guardians.
Baker's decision comes just days after several communities across the state mandated the use of masks while outside the home. Businesses, including national airlines, have also made mask wearing compulsory for both staff and customers.
"This is going to be basically a way of life, OK? There's no ifs, no ands, no buts, no doubts," Baker said.