Step 2 of phase 3 in Massachusetts’ reopening plan starts Monday

Coronavirus Local Impact

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Baker announced Thursday that Massachusetts will move into step two of phase 3 of the state’s re-opening plan starting Monday, March 1.

The biggest change will be that there will no longer by any capacity limits on restaurants.

Baker cited a decline in hospitalizations and infections since the beginning of the year as the reason for the move. This change is for all cities and towns starting on Monday.

Restaurants can also host live musical performances inside. However, there still must be six feet of social distancing in the restaurant. Plus, restrictions will still be in place, include a 90 minute dining time limit and no more than six people per table.

“Lifting the capacity Monday, finally we can get the ball rolling here and get back to normal business I hope. With people getting their vaccinations, we’re seeing a little bit more of the older crowd starting to roll back in. Getting busier and busier so that’s a good sign that we’re heading in the right direction,” said Dominic Pompi, owner of Memo’s Restaurant.

The state also awarded more than $49 million in COVID relief grants to businesses. More than half of grantees are restaurants, bars, caterers, operators of personal services like hair and nail salons, and independent retailers.

Also on Monday, roller rinks, as well as trampoline parks, obstacle courses, and laser tag can open at 50%.

Just 21 days after this step begins, the state plans to move forward to step one of Phase 4 on March 22nd. This means Indoor and outdoor stadiums like the MassMutual Center, arenas and ballparks can all open with a 12% capacity limit.

Although AIC Hockey will just miss being able to have fans at the MassMutual Center this season, Head Coach Eric Lang said the announcement is a sign of moving in the right direction.

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