Natick’s Health Department has put a mask mandate into effect come Monday, Jan. 17 through Feb. 28.
You’ll be required to wear a face covering or mask if you’re two or older in all indoor public spaces or private spaces open to the public. There is an exception for those unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability.
The mandate applies to facilities such as restaurants, retail establishments, houses of worship, gyms and indoor fitness centers, performance spaces and theaters, lodging, and personal services establishments. You can take off your mask while eating in a restaurant. The mandate doesn’t apply to private businesses that aren’t public-facing, and they can put in place their own policies.
“We have seen public health metrics trending in the wrong direction over the past several weeks. This, coupled with the CDC’s recommendation for indoor masking in Middlesex County, informs the decision to institute this mandate,” according to the town.
The list of communities across the state imposing similar rules is on the rise.
A civil fine of up to $300 can be issued in Natick to anyone not complying after verbal and written warnings.
Nearby, Wellesley has resisted a mask mandate to this point, with Board of Health members concerned about the mixed messages masks can send depending upon the type of masks people wear and how they wear them.