Framingham ends state of emergency and coronavirus rules
FRAMINGHAM, MA – The coronavirus pandemic will end in Framingham in a few days.
On Monday evening, the Health Council approved an end to various pandemic-era ordinances, ranging from a moratorium on evictions to requiring masks to be worn indoors.
Mayor Yvonne Spicer’s General Emergency Order, which went into effect on March 10, 2020, will end on June 15 – this is the date Governor Charlie Baker’s Emergency Order expires. A list of other orders will end on Saturday, when Baker will lift virtually all restrictions in place during the pandemic.
The Framingham moratorium on evictions, which only went into effect in February, was changed slightly by the Health Council at the request of former member Mike Hugo. He asked for – and council approved – a provision that would allow tenants who have applied for rental assistance to complete the application process. Hugo said it would prevent people from losing their homes if they wait for money to pay the rent owed.
As of Monday, there were still more than 1,500 active coronavirus cases in Framingham. However, the city has added far fewer cases in recent weeks than in the second wave of winter. Since last March, 8,278 residents of Framingham have tested positive for the virus and 245 have died.
Other pandemic orders that will end include:
Public meetings: City councils and commissions will have to find a way to meet again in person. There will be a hybrid option for meetings, but without action in the Legislature, MPs will need to be present.
Outdoor dining: Like many communities, Framingham does not enforce certain zoning bylaws to facilitate access to restaurants outside. Framingham will resume enforcing these regulations by mid-August without further legislative action.
Restaurant seats: A September 2020 order limited to six people in restaurants in Framingham. This restriction will end on Saturday.
Masks: The city’s April 2020 order for masks to be worn indoors will end on Saturday. Stores also won’t need one-way aisles. However, the state still requires masks on public and private transport, in healthcare facilities and in places like nursing homes. The state is also advising unvaccinated people to continue to wear masks.
Parking fines: Framingham in April 2020 suspended the collection of overtime trimming fines. Spicer also waived late fees on property taxes paid before June 2020.