SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Another step forward in the state’s re-opening plan moves forward Monday, with the start of Phase 3, Step 2. For most people, the most noticeable change they will see starting Monday will be the elimination of capacity limits in restaurants.
Certain social distancing and COVID-19 control measures, including a requirement of six feet of spacing between tables, a limit of no more than six people per table, and a time limit of 90 minutes per party, remain in place. However, restaurants can once again host live musical acts.
Indoor performance venues also get the all-clear to re-open Monday, but they will have to adhere to a 50% capacity limit, with a maximum of 500 people allowed to be in attendance.
Additionally, indoor recreation businesses, such as laser tag, roller skating, and trampoline parks can re-open Monday at half-capacity.
Capacity limits for all sectors that still have limits, including retail stores and houses of worship, can increase their capacity to 50% and exclude employees from that calculation.
Governor Charlie Baker has cited a decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases since the beginning of the year as rationale for the move.
Baker said Friday that this phase will last for three weeks, meaning that provided COVID-19 data continues trending in a positive direction, Phase 4 can begin on March 22. The beginning of Phase 4 would mean a limited return to large event venues, such as sports stadiums and arenas.