Northeast States Begin Lifting Restrictions and Announce Plans for Phased Reopening

As more and more people become fully vaccinated throughout the Northeast region, the governors have begun to lift certain pandemic-related safety measures and are announcing their states’ plans for phased reopening. Below is a summary of each of the Northeast states’ latest plans or announcements.

Connecticut: will end its COVID-19 restrictions in two steps next month, beginning May 1 for outdoor activities and May 19 for everything else. The remaining mandate will be a requirement for wearing masks in public indoor places.


Maine: Governor Mills announced that Maine is updating its public health guidance to remove the requirement that people wear face coverings in outdoor settings effective immediately. Face coverings are still required for indoor public settings, and there are no changes to Maine’s physical distancing requirements at this time. 

Read more: Moving Maine Forward


Massachusetts: The Baker-Polito Administration announced the state will reopen some outdoor industries effective May 10 and put plans in place for further reopening on May 29 and is expected to be fully open by August 1. The governor announced that he is lifting the state’s outdoor mask mandate effective Friday, April 30, as long as social distance guidelines are followed. He also stressed that face masks will still be required indoors and even at other situations like large sports gatherings.

Read more: Baker-Polito Administration Announces Plans for Continued Reopening


New Hampshire: In early April, Governor Sununu ordered all New Hampshire schools to fully reopen, five days a week, by April 19. And New Hampshire is the first New England state to life the mask mandate on April 16, while the governor encourages mask wearing when appropriate. Business and communities can still require masks at their discretion. The state’s other pandemic-related safety restrictions will be lifted on May 7, the governor said.

Read more: The safe reopening of the New Hampshire economy is underway


New York: Governor Cuomo has announced that the iconic New York State Fair in Syracuse will be held in person this August and lifting capacity limits at a number of core businesses, including outdoor stadiums, offices and fitness clubs throughout the state. 

Read more: Governor Cuomo Announces Additional Reopening Guidance and Updates New Yorkers on State’s Progress during COVID-19 Pandemic


Rhode Island: In alignment with the CDC recommendations, Governor McKee announced that people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will no longer be required to wear face coverings when outdoors in Rhode Island effective April 30, except when in crowded areas, although masks will still be required when indoors.

Read more: Reopening as safely as possible


Vermont: Vermonters are still required to wear masks while Governor Scott’s administration is taking the new CDC guidance into consideration as the state develops its own policy in the next week or so. 

Read more: On April 6, 2021, Governor Phil Scott released a reopening guide to help Vermonters

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