Kids Playing Sports Must Wear Masks Despite End of Mass. Outdoor Mask Mandate

Currently, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association's spring rules require athletes to wear cloth face coverings or masks, including always covering both the nose and mouth

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Student athletes participating in spring sports in Massachusetts must wear masks during games for the time being, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association said in a statement Thursday.

This comes despite Gov. Charlie Baker's announcement earlier this week that the state's outdoor mask mandate will be lifted on Friday.

"In light of Governor Baker's announcement on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 regarding the upcoming relaxation of the Massachusetts outdoor mask mandate, this communication is a reminder to MIAA member schools that the approved sport modifications by your Board of Directors remain in place and are expected to be followed," the MIAA said in a statement posted to Twitter. "At this time there are no changes or updates to sport modifications."

The MIAA said members will be notified if any updates are made to the current modifications.

A call to the MIAA was not immediately returned on Thursday.

Currently, the MIAA's spring rules require athletes to wear cloth face coverings or masks, including always covering both the nose and mouth. Gaiters are permissible, except in rugby, if permitted by local school policy. Masks with valves or filters are not permitted.

With children not being vaccinated, parents are wondering whether they should continue to wear masks.

Mask breaks can be taken for drinking and when needed for breathing comfort, but only when student athletes are greater than six feet from anyone else.

Beginning Friday, Massachusetts is relaxing its statewide mask mandate. Face masks will only be required outside in public when it’s not possible to socially distance or when required for other reasons, including at outdoor events.

Face coverings will still be required at all times in indoor public places, including stores. They will also continue to be required at all times at events, whether held indoors or outdoors and whether held in a public space or private home, except when eating or drinking.

More than a year into the COVID-19 restrictions that have reshaped much of public life, Massachusetts is positioned to fully reopen by August

At smaller gatherings in private homes, face coverings are recommended but not required.

The $300 fine that had been put in place as an enforcement mechanism will also be eliminated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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