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Face Masks Will No Longer Be Required For School Recess, Outdoor Youth Sports In Massachusetts

BOSTON (CBS) -- Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced Massachusetts is easing its face mask mandate, and one change will affect kids in the state almost immediately. The governor's administration said that starting Tuesday, masks will no longer be needed at school recess or for outdoor youth sports.

"Masks will no longer be required for outdoor activities like recess," Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said. "The youth and amateur sports guidance will be updated to no longer require face coverings for youth athletes, under 18, while playing outdoor sports."

All youth and amateur sports restrictions will be lifted on May 29.

Students will also be able to share toys and other objects in the classroom starting Tuesday.

Framingham High School Athletic Director Paul Spear says the state's mask mandate restrictions being lifted is fantastic news, but he knows his student-athletes we still have to wear them.

"As of tomorrow our kids will have masks on," Spear said Monday. "They will have masks on until I am told by the superintendent of schools that our local health officials have cleared the way for our kids to not wear masks."

Tara Bennett, Communications Director for the MIAA, says it plans to follow the guidelines of the Executive Office Energy and Affairs and local boards of health.

"I appreciate the governor's decision to reduce the restrictions starting tomorrow, however, with the interscholastic sports there's still a process we need to follow," Bennett said.

"We have a process where they'll review this information at the Sport Medicine Committee and then a recommendation will be made for the board of directors to review."

Massachusetts will drop its face mask mandate on May 29. Following CDC guidance, Massachusetts will still require face masks for students and staff inside school buildings.

WBZ-TV's Dr. Mallika Marshall explains that unvaccinated kids should still be wearing masks in stores and around other unvaccinated people even though they are unlikely to become seriously ill.

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