Four Boston museums and the New England Aquarium are instituting mask mandates for all visitors starting Saturday, regardless of vaccination status, the organizations announced.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium will all require guests older than five-years-old to wear masks while indoors.
"We want everyone to be able to come here, feel safe, enjoy the wonderful exhibits that we have, and really make that special connection with us," said Christine Rohrer, the aquarium's director of visitor services.
The decisions come after the CDC released new guidance recommending masks indoors in areas of high or substantial transmission of COVID-19, which includes most of Massachusetts.
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"We're in our busiest season right now, so this decision was really made out of an abundance of caution to support our visitors having a safe and comfortable experience while they're here," Rohrer said.
Some visitors complained about the logistics of keeping masks on small children, but many others expressed gratitude for the safety measures.
"I think that it makes it difficult for parents that have small children because it just makes it inaccessible for us if the children refuse to keep them on," said Melissa Sanabria, who's visiting from New York.
"We did it for almost a year, so I don't see what the big deal is," said Toni Drigo of Brighton.
"Probably a good thing so less people get sick," said Joe Kane of Holyoke.
"It definitely wouldn't keep me from taking them out, doing stuff, we'll wear it," Jennifer Tango of Boston said. "We know we're protecting other people as well, but we just can't wait until it's over."
All locations except the Museum of Fine Arts will also have timed-tickets to manage the number of guests inside the facilities at one time.