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Massachusetts Rolls Back On Reopening Plan As COVID-19 Cases Continue To Rise

Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz

Massachusetts Rolls Back On Reopening Plan As COVID-19 Cases Continue To Rise

Governor Charlie Baker recently announced a statewide roll back to Step 1 of Phase 3 of the reopening plan in response to the surge in coronavirus cases.

On Tuesday, December 9, Governor Baker announced all communities in Massachusetts would return to Step 1 of Phase 3, of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan starting on Sunday, December 13. Baker issued the roll-back in response to the increase in new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations that has put a strain on the state’s healthcare system ever since Thanksgiving Day.

The roll-back will reduce indoor capacities across a broad range of sectors and will also tighten several other workplace restrictions. The move back to Stage 1 will also require several businesses considered Stage 2 ones to close their doors. These include performance venues and other recreational businesses like roller rinks and escape rooms among others.

Additionally, the Administration also announced a tightening of restrictions on restaurants, gyms, and offices. Here’s a full breakdown of the measure that will take effect on Sunday.

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Phase III, Stage 1 measures:

  • Outdoor gatherings at event venues will be limited to no more than 50 people.
  • Hosts of outdoor gatherings of greater than 25 people will be required to provide advance notice of the gathering their local board of health.
  • Indoor theaters and performance venues and higher contact indoor recreation businesses will be required to close to the public.
  • Outdoor theaters and performance venues will be limited to 25% capacity, and no more than 50 people.
  • The following sectors will have to reduce capacity from 50% to 40%: Arcades, driving and flight schools, gyms and health clubs, libraries, museums, retail, offices, places of worship, lodging (common areas), golf facilities and movie theaters (max. 50 people per theater)

New restrictions on restaurants and other venues:

  • Patrons must wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking
  • Restaurants must seat no more than six patrons per table
  • Restaurants must impose a 90-minute time limit on tables
  • Musical performances at restaurants will no longer be permitted
  • Food court seating must be closed in malls
  • Customers are also highly encouraged to dine only with members of their own household

Gyms and Offices

  • In offices, employees must wear masks at their place of work when not in their own workspace and alone
  • Employers are encouraged to close or limit the use of break rooms and to offer teleworking to their employees if possible.
  • Patrons must wear masks at all times in gyms.

For more information make sure to visit the Massachusetts Government’s website here. 

See also: 10 Holly Jolly Things To Do In Boston This Holiday Season

[Featured image: Office of the Governor ]

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