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Milwaukee's mask mandate will end June 1

Five days after the Centers for Disease Control announced that masks are no longer necessary for fully vaccinated people in most situations, Milwaukee became the latest city to announce an end date for its mask mandate. The current mandate will expire on June 1.

Milwaukee had already announced plans last week to relax most of its Covid-19 restrictions starting June 15. The change means that limits on crowd sizes for businesses and events will be lifted, and that events occurring after June 15 will not need to provide safety plans to the city.

“Based on the science and evidence we have followed and learned from since day one, many of our restrictions will no longer be necessary,” Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said in a statement last week.

Immediately after that news, the Milwaukee Brewers announced plans to return American Family Field to full capacity starting June 25.

The city says it will continue to push for vaccinations. Vaccines are now widely available in Milwaukee, with the city’s Wisconsin Center one of many locations offering walk-in appointments. Vaccines have been deemed safe by the FDA and are nearly 100% effective at preventing serious illness or death from Covid-19.

Citing the efficacy of vaccines, the CDC revised its guidelines on Thursday, saying fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or stay six feet away from each other in most settings, either outdoors or indoors. The CDC still recommends vaccinated people wear masks on public transportation and in certain locations such as hospitals.

Although the change seemed abrupt, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has insisted it was based on clear science, pointing to the rapidly declining rates of Covid-19 infections across the country and studies that attest to the effectiveness of vaccines.