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MBTA Drops Mask Mandate On Trains And Buses

BOSTON (CBS) - Late Tuesday afternoon, as WBZ had first reported earlier from sources, the MBTA announced it would no longer require passengers to wear masks. "This is freedom," said passenger Caprice Brison from Boston, as he waited for an Orange Line train.

The change had already hit Logan Airport one night earlier, crowded with marathon tourists and vacation week travelers. The mask mandate was dropped there as soon as Monday's federal ruling in Florida voided the CDC's mandate that would have required masks on mass transportation for two more weeks. "I don't feel nervous about the mandate coming down," said MBTA passenger Charrissa Lin.

"Eighty percent of the people in Massachusetts are vaccinated," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Among those over the age of 65, it's more like 95% of the people are fully vaccinated. We now have therapies we didn't have two years ago that actually work."

He said the pandemic toolbox has improved. "Those are big changes in terms of how we should think of it going forward," Baker said.

At Back Bay Station Tuesday, signs still order people to cover their faces. "Anybody that feels like they're not ready, they're going to use it anyway," said passenger Andres Garzon.

Others said the decision is arriving right on time. Candice Kesselring said she's already comfortable getting on a train without a mask. "After all this time and all the different protective measures, vaccines and all that," she said.

Amtrak is also no longer requiring masks on trains. Uber and Lyft also announced they're doing away with their mandates.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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