Phase III of Massachusetts re-opening plan begins Monday

Massachusetts

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Phase 3, another step towards the new normal for Massachusetts begins on Monday.

“Phase three is titled ‘vigilant’ because while we’ve made incredible progress the virus is still here,” said Mike Kennealy, secretary of Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development.

With Phase 3 comes the reopening of movie theaters, museums, casinos and fitness facilities. 22News spoke with the owner of New England Functional Fitness in East Longmeadow about the center’s return since being forced to shut down due to Covid-19.

“Having that many months off and like not seeing our clients that are you know family now, it’s going to be great to see them again,” owner Anup Sharma said. “Having them back and telling them about things they’ve missed in my life and what I’ve missed about their life I think that’s going to be one of the greatest things.”

Under the new guidelines, fitness facilities must operate at 40 percent capacity and equipment must be sanitized after every use.

“We staggered all of our staff so no one is going to be working, like all four coaches can’t be on at the same time to reduce the volume that’s in here. Everyone has to be masked,” Sharma continued.

Each business sector has specific guidelines outlined by the state that they must follow in order to reopen. And while MGM Springfield and the Springfield Museums are allowed to open on July 6, both are delaying their complete reopening until July 13.

Along with reopening more businesses, Phase 3 also eases some social gathering restrictions. That state also says certain indoor recreational activities with a low potential of contact.

Governor Baker said in a recent briefing, “Outdoor gatherings in enclosed spaces are limited to 25 percent of a facilities permitted occupancy with a maximum of 100 people.”

Indoor gatherings are now eight people per 1000 square feet and no more than 25 people in one enclosed space.

For a full list of what is reopening in Phase 3 and updated public health guidelines, go to mass.gov.

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