Most of Rhode Island's remaining COVID-19 restrictions are set to be lifted on Friday.
Businesses such as stores, restaurants, gyms and offices will be allowed to operate at full capacity with no physical distancing, according to WJAR-TV. Businesses can still implement their own restrictions as they see fit.
Limits on social gatherings and restrictions on houses of worship, funeral homes and catered events are also being lifted.
Restrictions for youth and school events and health care and congregate care settings remain in place.
"This is a big weekend," Gov. Daniel McKee said Thursday. "Please be patient and courteous with each other as we all navigate this next phase of reopening our Ocean State together."
The state’s new COVID-19 face-covering guidance went into effect Tuesday.
Rhode Islanders who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus are no longer required to wear face coverings in most situations, a decision based on recommendations by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, will still be required to wear masks in any businesses that require it; in schools and child care settings; in hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other health care settings; on public transportation; in places that serve the homeless; and in prisons.
But McKee said the new guidance may take time to phase in.
“There’s going to be a transition here as people get more and more confidence about the federal guidance,” he said.
It will be up to individual businesses to decide how they want to apply the new guidelines, while some business owners have asked for more clarity on what’s expected of them.
McKee said masks in schools are still required because most students are not vaccinated.
“The goal is to have everybody back in the classroom safely, if CDC says safely is no masks, then we are going to support that, if they say they want masks then we are going to support that,” he said.
Guidance around masks at summer camps and other outdoor activities will be released shortly, McKee said.