Mass. Businesses in Phase 3, Step 2 Excited to Reopen, But Apprehensive About Future

As the second step of Phase 3 of Massachusetts' reopening begins in lower-risk communities, businesses are happy to be getting back into operation, but they say anxiety remains high over the threat of shutting down again

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Massachusetts communities considered low-risk for the coronavirus were allowed to enter the next step of the state's reopening plan on Monday, but as cases starts climb, business owners say the anxiety remains high that they might have to shut down again.

At Forrest Family Fun Center in Taunton, owner Forrest Wellington was excited to reopen the roller rink for the first time since March on Monday night. New protocols include mandatory masks and guards to make sure social distancing is practiced on the rink. Rented roller skates are also disinfected in between use.

Despite the higher case numbers, Massachusetts is moving forward with reopening, starting Step 2 of Phase 3 Monday.

"With everybody calling me, emailing me, I know we're going to be busy, but I'm nervous because if we go into the red, we're going to be shut down again," Wellington said.

According to state guidelines, any community in the red zone on the state's COVID-19 map, the highest risk category for cases, will not be permitted to have businesses open that fall under the second step of Phase 3. The phase includes recreational activities such as roller rinks, laser tags and trampoline parks.

At Altitude Trampoline Park in Billerica, they hope business bounces back before they see a jump in cases.

"We're watching it closely. Every week that map comes out, I'm going to freeze up like are we in the green, the yellow or are we now a hot zone," general manager Rebecca Goldman said.

Goldman said they have a rigorous set of protocols that include sanitizing stations near the trampolines and disinfecting the dodgeballs between every use. She hopes the longer they are open, customers will become more comfortable.

"I think people are eager to come back, just a little skeptical," Goldman said.

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