By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published May 13, 2021 at 5:06 PM

The City of Milwaukee will make its largest leap toward normalcy starting next month as Mayor Tom Barrett announced today that several of the city's current COVID-19 requirements and mandates will be phased out beginning on June 15.

While indoor mask mandates will still be in effect and social distancing will still be encouraged, Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Health Commission Kirsten Johnson announced that local businesses and events will no longer have capacity limits nor will they have to submit COVID-19 safety plans for approval. 

"I want to be clear: This does not mean the pandemic is over," Mayor Barrett said during Thursday's announcement. "We all know that the pandemic is not even close to being over. All you have to do is look around the world and see that the pandemic is still raging. But here in Milwaukee and here in Wisconsin, we have done a good job. So we will still strongly encourage the public to continue to follow the safety guidelines that have gotten us to this place. But after enduring a year of personal and economic sacrifice, this is a reason to celebrate. We have the opportunity to return to a version of normal – not normal, but a version of normal."

Barrett noted during the announcement that the next phase of the City of Milwaukee's pandemic plan will move away from restrictions and mandates, and instead focus on getting more people vaccinated. For a list of vaccination resources, click here

The news continues a trend of COVID-19 restrictions being dropped as case numbers continue to decline and more people continue to get vaccinated. The Bucks announced earlier this week that they will allow 50 percent capacity inside Fiserv Forum when the NBA playoffs start later this month, while the Brewers announced they will climb from 25 percent to 50 percent capacity starting this weekend – with plans to return to 100 percent fan capacity at American Family Field on June 25. 

Meanwhile, on the national side of things, the CDC announced today that it is no longer necessary for fully vaccinated citizens to wear masks either indoors or outdoors in most situations. (Masks are still recommended on public transportation – such as airplanes and buses – and in health care settings.) For a visual guide to the CDC's up-to-date mask recommendations, click here

"If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic," said CDC director Rochelle Walensky.

The City of Milwaukee's announcement came before the CDC's recommendation changes, so stay tuned for any updates to plans for the city's move away from restrictions. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.