What changes when the state of emergency lifts on June 15

"Massachusetts is leading the nation in the vaccination effort and that progress is enabling the Commonwealth to return to normal."

At the Massachusetts State House, Governor Charlie Baker marked the lifting of coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic restrictions by signing orders to that effect. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

After over a year of pandemic restrictions, the state of emergency Gov. Charlie Baker established in March of 2020 ends on June 15.

Though many restrictions — around capacity and face coverings — were rescinded on May 29, there are still a few things changing on Tuesday.

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During the emergency, courts were told to grant a continuance in eviction cases where tenants didn’t pay rent and had an application for rental assistance, but that provision will end on June 15. Though it won’t take effect for 90 days after June 15, the weeklong unemployment waiting period will no longer be waived.

An emergency order had also banned surge pricing for ride shares, so the end of that order could mean more Uber and Lyft drivers on the roads.


The end of the state of emergency also means the end of many popular pandemic policies, like remote public meetings, flexible policies for restaurants on outdoor dining and takeout cocktails, and health care protections.

On May 25, Baker filed legislation to continue open meeting law provisions allowing remote meetings through September 2021, allow municipalities to extend special outdoor dining permits to restaurants through November 2021, and continue surprise billing protections for patients through Jan. 1, 2022, when already-passed protections will take effect.

“Massachusetts is leading the nation in the vaccination effort and that progress is enabling the Commonwealth to return to normal,” Baker said in a release. “These temporary measures will help businesses and residents in this transition period, and I look forward to working on these and other issues in the week ahead with our partners in the Legislature.”

However, the state legislature has not yet approved a bill making all of this possible. According to NBC Boston, the Massachusetts Senate passed its version of the bill on June 10, and the House is taking it up in Tuesday’s session. A House spokesperson told NBC Boston the House plans to work fast to get a bill to the governor.

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