WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - The second-largest city in Massachusetts is now requiring people to mask up when entering indoor public spaces.

The indoor mask mandate took effect Monday for everyone over the age of 5 years old.

This comes amid a spike in cases due to the delta variant.

“The delta variant is exactly as contagious as expected and we’re all paying for the decisions of the unvaccinated,” Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty said.

Vaccines will also be required for city employees starting Nov. 1 or they must show proof of a weekly negative COVID-19 test.

Petty says these decisions were not made lightly.

“This is not political, this is about public health,” he said. “It’s about keeping our economic recovery going here in the city and the state and the country.”

Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus, Jr. is encouraging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated, saying they need everyone to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

“You don’t go into a battle with just some of your weapons, you need all your weapons,” he said. “Getting vaccinated and wearing a mask remain our best defense against this enemy.”

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