Masks will be recommended, not mandatory, in Rhode Island starting May 7, part of a slate of coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions being eased next month.
Gov. Dan McKee announced the changes at a news conference Thursday. They include bringing indoor dining, houses of worship, retail stores, gyms and more to full capacity by May 28. An intermediate step will kick in for many restrictions on May 7, when many locations can move to 80% capacity.
See a full list of the changes here:
Currently, the state requires people to wear masks when near other people outdoors and indoors. But Rhode Island is dropping that requirement for people outside, a step some, though not all, experts are advocating for as vaccination rates go up.
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Last week, New Hampshire dropped its mask mandate entirely, making it the first New England state to do so.