Baker Rescinds COVID-19 Orders, Lifting All Restrictions Starting Saturday

Starting Saturday, there will be an end to capacity limits and any venues still closed under the governor’s orders can reopen. WBZ-TV's Christina Hager reports.

Video Transcript

- Now to the good news. Massachusetts will fully reopen this Memorial Day weekend. Certainly welcome news for struggling businesses and fully vaccinated people who are ready to take their masks off.

And this is why we can do it. Cases in Massachusetts are down 54% in just the last two weeks. And with more than half of the state fully vaccinated, the governor is confident that a full reopening is the right move. WBZ's Christina Hager is live for us at the State House tonight. Christine, a big relief to so many people.

CHRISTINA HAGER: You know, David, we've talked a lot about herd immunity, and that's a benchmark the governor's administration expects to hit here in Massachusetts in mid-June. And that's why the governor says he feels comfortable making this big change starting tomorrow.

Governor Charlie Baker making it official on paper, pandemic restrictions to be lifted in Massachusetts, effective tomorrow. Asked how he felt in the moment, he turned away to collect emotions.

CHARLIE BAKER: I mean, honestly, I-- I've said before that this was the most difficult thing I've ever done in my professional career.

CHRISTINA HAGER: No masks required. Even nightclubs can open. No capacity restrictions, no crowd limits starting tomorrow. He credits 3 and 1/2 million fully vaccinated Massachusetts residents.

CHARLIE BAKER: It is, in some respects, a profound demonstration of how people here stepped up when they really needed to.

CHRISTINA HAGER: Close to being over, he said, an idea that may take more time for some residents.

SUZANNE BENOIT: I think we will be living with this one certainly for the rest of my life.

DONALD FRENCH: I know some people and I'm quite sure some people that I don't know will never take these off ever again.

CHRISTINA HAGER: Baker appears ready to reconnect. At a veterans memorial event before his news conference, hugs were plentiful. And he said it felt good.

CHARLIE BAKER: I hope and anticipate that that sort of thing will come back to being very commonplace because it is one of the ways we all buck each other up.

CHRISTINA HAGER: Some things that do not change tomorrow. We still have to wear masks on the tee, in ta-- in taxis and in ride shares and elderly care facilities. And some businesses may decide to keep those signs up a little bit longer to continue to require people to wear masks. At the State House, Christina Hager, WBZ News.