The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is ramping up its face mask enforcement efforts in response to the state’s revised executive order to require all residents to wear a face covering in public, whether outdoors or indoors. Face coverings were mandatory effective May 1 to ride public transportation.
Gov. Charlie Baker’s COVID-19 Order No. 55 applies to any person over the age of five who is in a public place, and expressly requires masks or face coverings worn over the nose and mouth when using public transportation. Mask use by children two years of age and up to the age of five is encouraged but also at the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian.
The revised executive order, effective Nov. 6, authorizes MBTA Transit Police to enforce the order onboard MBTA vehicles and within the system by issuing a civil fine up to $300 per violation.
The MBTA has issued internal guidance to its employees consistent with the revised executive order. Riders observed not wearing a face mask or covering will first be reminded of the new requirement. If the unmasked rider does not immediately put on a mask or face covering following the reminder, the observation will be reported to the MBTA Operations Control Center, who will report and coordinate next steps with Transit Police.
The revised executive order also includes an exemption for individuals with certain medical conditions, but does not require a person who is exempt to produce documentation of their condition.