Massachusetts Will Move Forward with Reopening Plan in March
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England radio personality and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Governor Charlie Baker announced the updates to the reopening plan during a press conference on Thursday, February 25. Massachusetts will move to Phase Three, Step Two on Monday, March 1. Massachusetts will move to Phase Four, Step One on Monday, March 22.
Phase Three, Step Two:
Here is who can reopen during Phase Three, Step Two:
- Indoor performance venues such as concert halls, theaters, and other indoor performance spaces (Open at 50 percent capacity with a 500 person max)
- Indoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact: laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, obstacle courses (Open at 50 percent capacity)
The following can increase to 50 percent capacity during Phase Three, Step Two:
- Arcades & other indoor and outdoor recreation businesses
- Close contact personal services
- Driving and flight schools
- Fitness centers and health clubs
- Golf facilities (indoor)
- Operators of lodging (common spaces)
- Museums, cultural & historic facilities, guided tours
- Office spaces
- Places of worship
- Sectors not otherwise addressed
- Theaters and performance venues
- Relevant EEA industries - Youth sports spectators, etc.
The following industries remain unaffected by capacity limits:
- Drive-in movie theaters
Restaurants will no longer be subject to a percent-seated capacity limit; capacity will only be limited by the requirement of six-feet in between tables. Musical performances are allowed in restaurants as long as appropriate distancing is in place. A 90-minute time limit on tables will stay in place. The limit of no more than six per table will stay in place.
Food courts will remain closed and fitting rooms in all retail businesses may reopen on Monday, March 1.
Phase Four, Step One:
Massachusetts will move into Phase Four, Step One effective Monday, March 22, subject to state health data. This will include changes to gathering limits for event venues and public settings to be 100 people indoor and 150 people outdoor. Gathering limits for private settings, such as private residences, will remain at 10 people indoor and 25 people outdoor.
- Indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks will reopen with a strict 12 percent capacity limit
- A large venue is defined as having a capacity of 5,000 or more and will be required to submit a safety plan to the Department of Public Health
- Venues with capacity under 5,000 are subject to the Indoor and Outdoor Performance Venue guidance
- Overnight camps will be allowed to open for Summer 2021
- Exhibition and convention halls may reopen, subject to gathering limits and event rules
- Dance floors may open at weddings and events only
All other Phase Four industries will not be able to open until a future reopening step. Those include:
- Road races, street festivals, parades, and fairs
- Amusement parks, theme parks, outdoor water parks
- Indoor water parks and indoor/outdoor ball pits
- Saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms at fitness centers, health clubs, and other facilities
- Beer gardens, breweries, wineries, and distilleries
- Bars, dance clubs, and nightclubs - venues offering entertainment, beverages, or dancing and not providing seated food service
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