Dear Colleagues,

Today, Governor Charlie Baker announced that the Commonwealth will lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions effective May 29. After this date individuals will no longer need to wear a face covering or social distance indoors or outdoors except for in certain situations including public and private transportation systems and in healthcare facilities.

Governor Baker’s announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s issuance last week of additional guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, including easing of requirements for masking or physical distance among those who have been fully vaccinated, “except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” Both the Commonwealth and the CDC advise non-vaccinated individuals to continue wearing face masks and to distance in most settings.

As part of the today’s announcement, Governor Baker made it clear that individual businesses may choose to set their own requirements for vaccinations or masking and asked for the public’s cooperation stating, “Businesses are going to make decisions about what they think makes the most sense for their employees and their customers, and we should all be respectful of that.”

As you know the MBL will soon start welcoming hundreds of students and scientists from worldwide locations who will be staying on our campus for varying durations throughout the summer. With the University of Chicago, we will be reviewing COVID-19 policies given the new CDC guidance and taking into consideration the May 29 easing of restrictions by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Given our current lack of information about what vaccination levels will be on campus, please be aware that the MBL’s masking and distancing requirements may remain in place beyond May 29.

As stated previously, it is of utmost importance that we balance the new guidance with rising vaccination levels and the need to promote the health and safety of the MBL community, especially those who are unable to take the vaccine.

The MBL will communicate more on COVID-19-related policies in the coming weeks.

Paul Speer
Chief Operating Officer