Skip to content

GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

Massachusetts State House reopens Tuesday for first time after closing for pandemic lockdown

BOSTON, MA – February 10:   Scenes from the halls of the State House during the pandemic on February 10, 2022 in BOSTON, Massachusetts.  (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)
BOSTON, MA – February 10: Scenes from the halls of the State House during the pandemic on February 10, 2022 in BOSTON, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

The State House is finally open.

It’s the last capitol building in the nation to reopen its doors to the public after closing 713 days ago amid a wave of lockdowns when the coronavirus pandemic first arrived in the Bay State.

The long-awaited reopening of the so-called “People’s House” will be conditional, however.

When gates open at 9 a.m. today at the Ashburton Park entrance off Bowdoin Street, anyone entering the building will be required to wear a mask “in all common spaces of the State House,” per the guidelines. The building will close at 5 p.m. daily

The public, lawmakers and staffers alike will also be required to provide either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test from within the last 24 hours “at the door, prior to entry,” according to a memo sent to Senate offices this week by Majority Leader Cindy Creem. Kids under 5 are exempt from mask and testing rules.

The constituents, lobbyists, protesters and advocates that once set the building abuzz daily will be able to meet with lawmakers and their staff once again in person, bringing some sense of normalcy back to the legislative building. Secretary of State William Galvin — whose staff has worked in the building throughout much of the pandemic — plans to resume historical tours inside the State House on reopening day on a by-appointment basis.

Public attendance will be allowed at formal and informal sessions in both chambers, but committee hearings and attendance at public events will “remain on hold at this time,” the memo states. The House and Senate each have informal sessions scheduled for 11 a.m.

The Hooker Entrance on Beacon Street remains closed for renovations.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.