Nearly 30% of Massachusetts restaurants expected to close due to COVID-19 regulations

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts businesses have to follow strict regulations in order to keep customers safe, but some lawmakers argue that they’re actually forcing many businesses to close.

So far, more than 20 percent of the state’s restaurants have closed their doors for good, a number that economists expect will only go up if more regulations are added.

Right now, bars and restaurants in the Commonwealth have to space tables 6 feet apart, limiting the number of people they can seat in each room. Tables are limited to 10 people max and the restaurant must stop serving people by 9:30 p.m.

“As we’re watching another surge, we really have to be careful and make sure that if we do put in place those restrictions then we have to balance it with assistance,” Senator Hinds said.

Lawmakers did spend time discussing these regulations during their budget debate, but any proposal to remove them was voted down.

Currently, there are several small business relief bills that have stalled in conference committees.

Lawmakers say they’re ready to vote on and distribute aid to those who need it, and with only one month left of session, they are hoping to see it get before they break for the holidays. 

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