BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts will move forward in the Commonwealth’s reopening plan to reopen certain outdoor Phase 4 industries effective May 10th, as previously announced. The Administration continues to take steps to reopen the Commonwealth’s economy with public health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction.
On March 22, Massachusetts loosened restrictions and advanced to Phase IV of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. Since then, daily new COVID-19 cases have dropped by 45%, hospitalizations have dropped by 23%, and deaths have dropped by 69%. All these metrics have dropped by around 80% or more since the beginning of the year. The Commonwealth also remains a national leader in COVID-19 vaccinations, and over 3.9 million people are fully or partially vaccinated, and Massachusetts is on track to meet its goal of vaccinating over 4 million people by the beginning of June.
Effective Monday, May 10th:
-The Commonwealth will reopen certain outdoor Phase 4 industries.
-Amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks will be permitted to operate at a 50% capacity after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.
-Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place with staggered starts and other appropriate safety measures after submitting safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.
Additionally, large capacity venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks currently open at 12% capacity as part of Phase 4, Step 1 will be permitted to increase capacity to 25%.
Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high-risk sports.
Singing will also be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants, event venues and other businesses.
Grocery stores and retail stores with a pharmacy department should consider dedicated hours of operation for seniors, but will no longer be required to offer senior hours.
Additional Changes Anticipated to be Effective Saturday, May 29th:
Contingent on continued positive trends in the public health and vaccination data, on May 29th, additional sectors will be permitted to re-open and gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for event venues, public settings and private settings.
The additional sectors that will be permitted to open include:
-Parades, street festivals and agricultural festivals, after submitting safety plans to the local board of health including measures for maintaining social distance, staffing and operations plans and hygiene and cleaning protocols.
-Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries, which will be subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90 minute limit and no dance floors.
Subject to public health and vaccination data, the restaurant guidance will be updated to eliminate the requirement that food be served with alcohol and to increase the maximum table size to 10.
Last week, the Administration also relaxed the Face Coverings Order for some outdoor settings and announced further reopening plans for August 1st.