Masks are no longer required in public settings in Newmarket as the town council voted Wednesday to immediately repeal its ordinance.

The town council voted 7 to 1 to end the ordinance and to follow guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the town always has, according to town manager Steve Fournier.

The CDC announced on May 13 that those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors.

"CDC guidance and the known science has been updated. Outdoor spaces are much safer than originally thought. The percentage of the population to receive their vaccination is high, and as such patient outcomes are much less severe. While continued mask wearing in certain circumstances is warranted and encouraged, a broad-based ordinance appears to be no longer be appropriate," Fournier said.

Fournier asked people to respect those who continue to mask up and to respect businesses that still require them to be worn.

Before the CDC guidance changed, Gov. Chris Sununu let New Hampshire's mask mandate expire, but many towns kept their local ordinances in place including Durham, Exeter, Newmarket and Portsmouth. They all carried financial penalties.

In its weekly update, officials from the town of Durham said their ordinance is scheduled to end on June 5.

Exeter's mask mandate is due to expire on May 29; the agenda for the Select Board's next scheduled meeting on May 24 has not been posted on the town website.

The mask mandate in Portsmouth requiring their use indoors and outdoors is in effect until June 30.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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