FRAMINGHAM- City of Framingham Mayor Charlie Sisitsky has issued a mask mandate for the City of Framingham effective Wednesday, January 19.
The mandate is for indoor public spaces only, not private spaces.
A mandate for municipal buildings came into effect in the fall of 2021.
The Framingham Board of Health, at an emergency meeting on Friday January 14, voted in favor of the mayor’s order.
Natick issued an indoor mask mandate, which began yesterday, January 17.
The Marlborough Board of Health has voted for an indoor mask mandate for that town which begins on January 21.
The City of Framingham has released the following questions and answers about the order, which begins January 19.
- When does this order come into effect?
This Order will come into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 and will remain in effect until revoked.
2.Why is Framingham instituting a mask mandate now?
Since January 1, 2022, we have seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the City of Framingham, affecting all age groups. Additionally, the CDC currently recommends indoor masking in Middlesex County.
3.Where and when should I wear a mask or face covering?
Masks or face coverings will be required for staff and guests over the age of two in all indoor establishments open to the public. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Note: Customers may only remove their face coverings when actively eating or drinking. Customers standing or ordering at the bar must be masked.
- Retail establishments
- grocery stores
- places of worship
- Indoor gyms and fitness centers
- Performance halls and theaters
- Private clubs that organize indoor events
- Lodging establishments such as hotels and motels
- Common areas of apartment buildings such as elevators, lobbies and laundry rooms
- Personal service establishments, such as barbers, hairdressers, nail salons, and massage parlors
- Note: Customers may temporarily remove their mask to perform services that must occur on the face, such as beard trimming, facials, makeup applications
4.Who are exempt from this order?
This Order does not apply to children under two (2) years of age. This Order does not apply to persons for whom a face mask or covering creates a health risk, affects the person’s ability to breathe safely; has a mental health diagnosis or other medical diagnosis that advises against wearing a face mask or covering; has a disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask or covering; or depends on supplemental oxygen to breathe.
5.As a company, what should I do?
All entrances to businesses open to the public must display a notice for employees, customers and visitors that masks must be worn inside the establishment. Business owners are welcome to use the sign created by the Town of Framingham, or they can create their own
6. As an entrepreneur, can I refuse entry to customers who refuse to follow this order?
Yes, if a customer, customer or attendee refuses to wear a mask or cloth face covering for non-medical reasons, the operator of a facility, business or event may refuse the entrance to the person.
7.What if my business is not open to the public?
8.If I host or attend a private event that is not open to the public, do I need to wear a mask or face covering?
If your event is taking place in an indoor space that is open to the public (for example, a hotel ballroom, social club, convention center, etc.), all attendees must wear masks or face coverings in all the time except when actively eating or drinking. This mandate does not apply to events held in private residences where admission is not charged or compensation is not paid, or outdoors.
9.Are musical performances and other live performances still allowed in restaurants and other indoor venues?
Yes, performers can remove their mask or face covering while performing as long as they maintain a distance of at least six feet from the nearest customer or attendee.
10.What is the penalty for non-compliance?
Currently, there are no fines for violations. However, the ordinance includes language allowing the city to seek a court order enforcing the mask mandate in appropriate cases.
11.When will this order be reviewed?
The Mayor will continue to monitor COVID-19 data and trends for Framingham. In addition, the Framingham Board of Health will review this order at each subsequent regular meeting. Meeting agendas are posted on the City’s website. If no action is taken by the Mayor and the Board of Health to rescind this by-law, it will remain in effect.
The mayor hopes it will be possible to change or overturn the order by the end of February 2022, but that decision will be based on transmission tariffs. If and when the by-law is revoked or amended, notice will be provided to the public by means of a news release and a notice on the City’s website.
12.Who can I contact for additional questions?
Managers of licensed businesses and other affected locations can call the mayor’s office for assistance with messaging customers. The phone number is 508-532-5400.