Local restaurants looking forward to fully reopening again

Hampden County

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – All Massachusetts business and capacity restrictions will be lifted as of May 29th.

After a long year, it’s a relief to be able to operate without restrictions for the Federal Restaurant in Agawam. Effective May 29, all industries in Massachusetts will be allowed to completely open. Among those industries includes bars, beer gardens, and night clubs. Capacity will also increase to 100 percent for all industries and the gathering limit will be removed.

Ralph Santaniello, co-owner of the Federal Restaurant group, said this is exciting news for his restaurant, “My first thought, it’s been a long road. It feels great that we are obviously doing the right thing and moving in the right direction to on and the fact it moved up from August 1st is a great sign.”

Restaurant guidance requiring food to be served with alcohol will be eliminated as well as the 90 minute seating time limits. Fully vaccinated people could gather inside a restaurant dining room without masks.

Santaniello says this new demand for private events and catering means there is a now a bigger need for more workers.

“People are ready to come back,” said Santaniello. “We are booking a lot of private events. Right now we are probably only taking 60% of business that we could be taking because we are just completely short handed.”

All industries will be encouraged to follow CDC guidance for cleaning and hygiene protocols. Businesses will still have the option of requiring masks for customers and employees.

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