BOSTON (WHDH) - A new mask mandate for all indoor public spaces in Boston will take effect next week as the Delta variant continues fuel a surge in new COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts and across the United States, Mayor Janey announced Friday.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, masks will be required in all public settings, Janey said during a news conference at City Hall.

“We must do all we can to protect Boston residents with strong preventative measures,” Janey said. “This public mask mandate will help limit transmission of the Delta variant and boost public confidence that is essential to our continued economic recovery.”

The mask order applies to all people over the age of 2 who are indoors at places including retail establishments, restaurants, bars, performance venues, social clubs, event spaces, gyms, and municipal buildings.

Janey noted that masks may be removed when actively eating or drinking. They must be worn during all other activities including ordering at the bar and dancing.

The order does not apply to gatherings in private residences when no compensation is paid, private buildings that are inaccessible to the public, places of worship, private workspaces inaccessible to the public, or performers who maintain six feet of distance from their audience. 

Boston Public Schools will also require students to wear face masks this fall.

All 18,000 city workers must also get vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to regular testing, Janey announced last week.

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