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Effective today, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has officially advanced to Phase IV, Step 2 of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Re-Opening Plan relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following changes go into effect today:

  1. Large venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks currently open as part of Phase IV, Step 1 at 12% capacity will be permitted to increase capacity to 25%.
  2. Some outdoor industries such as amusement parks, theme parks, and outdoor water parks are permitted to open at 50% capacity after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.
  3. Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place with staggered starts after submitting safety plans to a local Board of Health or Department of Public Health.
  4. Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high risk sports.
  5. Singing will also be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants, event venues, and other businesses.

The next step of the re-opening plan is scheduled to commence on May 29, dependent on continued positive trends in public health data. This step will include:

  1. Gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for event venues, public settings, and private settings.
  2. Additional industries will be permitted to open. These include:
    1. Street festivals, parades, and agricultural festivals at 50% of their previous capacity and only after submitting safety plans to the local Board of Health.
    2. Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries, and distilleries. These industries will be subject to the restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90 minute limit, and no dance floors.
  3. 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.

These changes are contingent on public health data continuing to trend in the right direction. Residents can do their part to move this along by rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated. Continue to wear a face covering when out of your home and stay home if you’re feeling sick.

You can learn more about the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19 and the re-opening plan by visiting www.mass.gov/covid19