COVID-19 Mask Requirements

Learn about COVID-19 mask requirements in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Mask advisory and guidance for Massachusetts residents

Effective April 18, 2022, as a result of a change in federal policy, masks are no longer required on public transportation including on the MBTA (except on The Ride), commuter rail, buses, ferries, and airplanes, or while in rideshares (Uber and Lyft), taxis, and livery vehicles. Face coverings are also no longer required inside or outside of transportation hubs, including train stations, bus stops, and airports.

The Department of Public Health advises that individuals should wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home) if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated.

Download the latest advisory, updated March 1, 2022: Updated Mask Advisory | DOC (additional languages are available below).

Mask requirements in certain locations

Masks continue to be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at all times in the following locations, subject to the exemptions listed below:

  1. The RIDE (the MBTA’s paratransit service) and on transportation provided by the Commonwealth’s Human Service Transportation (HST) Brokerage.
  2. Healthcare facilities licensed or operated by the Commonwealth and healthcare practice locations of any provider licensed by a professional board which sits within the Department of Public Health or the Division of Professional Licensure. These settings include nursing homes, rest homes, emergency medical services, hospitals, physician and other medical and dental offices, urgent care settings, community health centers, vaccination sites, behavioral health clinics, and Bureau of Substance and Addiction Services (BSAS) facilities. This requirement applies to patients, residents, staff, vendors and visitors.
  3. Congregate care facilities or programs operated, licensed, certified, regulated, authorized, or funded by the Commonwealth.  These settings include the common areas of assisted living residences, group homes, residential treatment programs, and facilities operated, licensed, certified, regulated, authorized, or funded by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department of Youth Services (DYS), the Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS), the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). This requirement applies to clients, residents, staff, vendors and visitors.
  4. Emergency shelter programs, including individual and family homeless shelters, domestic violence and sexual assault shelters, veterans’ shelters, and shelters funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development. This requirement applies to guests, staff, vendors and visitors.   
  5. Houses of Correction, Department of Correction prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities. This requirement applies to people who are detained or incarcerated, staff, vendors and visitors.
  6. Health Care and Day Services and Programs operated, licensed, certified, regulated, or funded by the Commonwealth including the Executive Office of Health and Human Services or one of its agencies.  These settings include adult day health, day habilitation, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), psychosocial rehabilitation club houses, brain injury centers and clubhouses, day treatment, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, recovery support centers and center-based day support programs. This requirement applies to staff, visitors, vendors and consumers.
  7. Home health care workers, including Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) and Home Health Aides in community and home-based settings where they are providing patient-facing care; provided, however, the requirement shall only apply to the worker providing care

Additional Resources

How to select and wear a mask

The CDC recommends that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you can wear for as long as you need it.

Mask advisory in multiple languages

Feedback