‘A Huge Relief': Owners of Mass. Businesses in Phase 3 Prepare to Reopen

Phase 3 of Massachusetts' reopening begins Monday

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Dance classes are just days away at the Etoile Dance + Yoga studio in Pembroke, Massachusetts.

"It's a huge relief," said co-owner Erin McGurl.

The virtual classes they've been offering just aren't the same as the real thing.

"As with any business that is a live in-studio experience, the online experience is just very different," said McGurl. "So it is definitely hard to keep students engaged, keep yoga clients engaged."

The plan is to start up dance next week and yoga when they're ready.

"We're still trying to get our instructors comfortable with coming back," said McGurl. "Yoga is a very personal experience, there's a lot of guidance with hands-on assists."

Fitness centers, museums, movie theaters and casino gaming are also getting the green light to reopen next week.

Masks, social distancing, frequent cleaning and capacity limits are all part of the deal.

It's a big responsibility for business owners.

"Terrifying," said Landen Stacy, owner of the Emerald Yoga Studio in Pembroke. "Because I feel if someone gets sick under my roof, then it's going to come back to me. I want to take as many precautions as we possibly can to make sure everybody stays safe."

At Strive 24 Hour Fitness in Wilmington, the treadmills are being turned on so members can hit the ground running after maybe gaining a few pandemic pounds.

"I'd hope that not a lot of us put the COVID-19 on, but there's going to be a lot of folks that probably did," said gym owner Matthew Moisan. "One of the keys to health and fitness longevity-wise is never stopping, so when you take four months off, it's going to be really difficult to get back to the swing of things."

Moisan is ready to open the doors Monday morning after four months.

"Stoked," Moisan said. "Blessed that I was able to make it through."

Phase 3 in the city of Boston will come one week later.

Phase 4, which includes bars and nightclubs, won't happen until there's a vaccine or effective treatments.

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