PITTSFIELD — Starting next week, City Hall and nearby municipal offices will reopen to the public five days a week, during typical business hours.
And according to Mayor Linda Tyer’s office, when City Hall and other public buildings resume normal operating hours beginning June 1, face coverings will not be required, though a mask advisory for the unvaccinated will be in effect.
“As part of the governor’s announcement issued last week, the state’s mask mandate is no longer in effect for fully vaccinated people for both indoor and outdoor spaces. However, there is a mask advisory for those who are not yet vaccinated,” said Roberta McCulloch-Dews, director of administrative services for the mayor’s office. “In alignment with this current guidance, effective June 1, employees and visitors to municipal offices will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors.”
For the past several months, City Hall has been open to the public two days a week for a few hours, and masks were a must. But, as more residents become vaccinated and COVID-19 case numbers have waned, the state is moving to rescind the statewide mask order May 29.
The city is keeping up hand sanitizer stations and physical barriers, McCulloch-Dews said in a statement, in order “to help both employees and the public feel more comfortable during the transition back to normal operations.”
Tyer said anyone is welcome to continue wearing a mask if they want.
“I understand that this is a big change for many of us because masks have become an integral part of our personal safety habits over the course of the past year. Anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask indoors is free to do so,” she said in the statement.
Public hours at City Hall and the 100 North St. offices will be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, McCulloch-Dews said. One exception she noted was the office of the Building Commissioner at 100 North St., which will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The City Council is set to hold its first in-person meeting in more than a year on June 22. Other public bodies are likely to follow suit, and McCulloch-Dews said boards and commissions are permitted to meet in person starting June 15, the date Gov. Charlie Baker said he will end the state of emergency in Massachusetts.
The city is limiting public entrance to City Hall to the ramp off Federal Street, though all exits will be in use. McCulloch-Dews said the drop box behind City Hall will stay put.
The Berkshire Athenaeum and the Senior Center, which had adjusted its hours due to COVID-19, also will resume normal operations.
With the change, the Senior Center will suspend meal deliveries Saturday and resume congregate dining Tuesday, she said. Grab-and-go meals will continue to be offered.