Starting on Monday, the City of Everett will require everyone over the age of two to wear a face mask or face-covering in all public places, including both indoor and outdoor spaces, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Masks have become a fixture of pandemic life in Massachusetts since Gov. Charlie Baker ordered everyone wear one in public if they can't stay apart from others.
But the City of Everett is now taking things a step further, requiring everyone to wear a mask in public at all times, regardless of their ability to stay socially distant. And if you don't follow the new rules, you could face up to a $300 fine.
This comes after Gov. Baker announced the indefinite postponement of the state's reopening due to a rise in coronavirus cases.
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria on Saturday announced the mask order in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Mayor DeMaria says he realizes this new policy sounds extreme, but he says it's necessary.
Public locations include, but are not limited to, parks, businesses, outdoor spaces and all public spaces, according to the mayor's statement.
People visiting restaurants are permitted to remove their mask while consuming food or drink, but must wear a mask while entering, exiting or moving about the establishment.
The Everett Police Department, Everett Health Department and Inspectional Services will strictly enforce these guidelines and issue warnings and/or violations to those not adhering to the order, according to the mayor.
Violators of the ordinance may be fined up to $300 per violation.
Continuing Coronavirus Coverage
“I think you have to use the mask,” Fernanda Ferrerra said.
“It’s a bit much in my opinion, but I think it’s just to scare people into wearing it,” Mikaell Barreira said. “Most people are wearing it, but there’s the occasional few people who aren’t.”
Barreira says he always carries a mask in his pocket but he doesn't always wear it.
After learning of the new order that takes effect Monday, Barreira says that will change.
"Hey, I’m still working part time; I can’t afford a fine like that,” he said.
The mask order will remain in effect until further notice, the mayor said.
Everett is at least the second city in the Boston area to make masks mandatory at all times. Three weeks ago, the City of Salem implemented a similar policy, but it only applies to downtown and city parks.
On Sunday, Massachusetts health officials reported 286 new cases of the virus and 14 more deaths. There have now been 8,514 deaths and 112,459 cases reported in the state since the pandemic began, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.