Massachusetts to loosen seating restrictions at restaurants starting Monday

Coronavirus Local Impact

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts is still in Phase 3 of the reopening plan, but the Baker-Polito Administration announced last week that restaurants can expand seating starting Monday to help their businesses.

“But the evidence from other states with respect to this issue is clear, restaurants can use bar seating for regular food service with appropriate distance in place,” Governor Baker said at a recent news conference.

The Delaney House in Holyoke is one local restaurant that is preparing its bar for the new seating guidelines.

If you do plan on sitting at the bar, the Delaney House will be building a Plexiglas barrier safely separating you from the bartender. Patrons cannot stand near or crowd the bar area and those sitting there must social distance from others.

Massachusetts restaurants will also be able to sit up to 10 people to a table for indoor and outdoor dining. Tables must still remain at least six feet apart from each other and cannot be close to the bartending area.

Peter Rosskothen, owner of the Log Cabin and Delaney House, said that the seating guidelines will help for the holiday season.

“If you have special events, Thanksgiving, any kind of holiday, where people and larger groups are getting together and families are getting together, the ability to do a table of ten is a big deal,” he told 22News.

Massachusetts nightclubs and bars will continue to remain closed. They are part of Phase 4 and cannot reopen until there is a vaccine for COVID-19.

For more information on the Massachusetts reopening plan, you can go to

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