All communities across the Commonwealth will be moving back to Phase 3, Step 1 of the state’s reopening plan, effective Sunday, Governor Baker announced Tuesday. The news comes as the state has been reporting an increase in cases and hospitalizations since Thanksgiving.

Baker says the state is “going to continue being as aggressive as we can” in fighting the COVID-19 virus.“We are still in a pandemic and the state of Massachusetts is being tested once again."

According to Baker, effective Sunday, December 13, all communities will roll back to Phase 3, Step 1 of Massachusetts’ reopening plan, including the following restrictions:

  • Outdoor gatherings at event venues will be limited to no more than 50 people
  • Hosts of outdoor gatherings of greater than 25 people will be required to provide advance notice of the gathering to their local board of health
  • Indoor theaters and performance venues and higher contact indoor recreation businesses will be required to close to the public
  • Outdoor theaters and performance venues will be limited to 25% capacity, and no more than 50 people

In all communities, capacity will be reduced from 50% to 40% for the following sectors:

  • Arcades/Indoor and Outdoor Recreational Businesses
  • Driving and Flight Schools
  • Gyms/Health Clubs
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Retail
  • Offices
  • Places of Worship
  • Lodging (common areas)
  • Golf facilities
  • Movie Theaters (Maximum 50 people per theater)

The Administration also announced new guidelines for restaurants and other venues with seated dining, including:

  • Patrons must wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking
  • Restaurants must seat no more than six patrons per table
  • Restaurants must impose a 90-minute time limit on tables
  • Musical performances at restaurants will no longer be permitted
  • Food court seating must be closed in malls

Customers are encouraged to dine only with members of the same household.

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