Massachusetts reopening

Massachusetts Enters Phase 3 of Reopening Monday. Here's What to Know

Boston will enter Phase 3 a week later than the rest of the state, and Somerville will also wait at least one week

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Most of Massachusetts will enter Phase 3 of its reopening plan on Monday, July 6, amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The plan will go into effect in the vast majority of the state. However, Boston will enter Phase 3 on July 13 after city officials requested extra time to prepare. Somerville announced it would enter the third phase on that same day at the earliest.

This new phase comes as as key metrics in the state's fight against COVID-19 continue to show progress.

Like the previous phase, Phase 3 consists of two parts: Step 1 and Step 2.

During Step 1, which starts Monday, the maximum occupancy limit for both indoor and outdoor gatherings will increase. Indoor activities will allow for a maximum of 25 people in one room. Outdoor activities will permit a maximum of 100 people per gathering.

Businesses that will be permitted to reopen during Phase 3 include:

  • Movie theaters and outdoor performance venues;
  • Museums, cultural and historical sites; 
  • Fitness centers and health clubs;
  • Certain indoor recreational activities with low potential for contact;
  • Professional sports teams, under the authority of league-wide rules, may hold games without spectators

However, there will be restrictions placed on all of these businesses to prevent the spread of coronavirus. For more details on what that will look like for each business, click here.

"You don't want to be doing sprints and running on the treadmill on an exercise bike on a rowing machine wearing your mask," said Andy Sharry. "We try to tell people do what you're comfortable with."

Mark Anastasio, of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, says "you won't see lines anymore. We'll be doing online ticket sales only."

"You don't want to guests coming thinking that they're coming to a normal wedding," Sam Kanter said. "They are going to be regulated. They are going to do things that make it different."

Bars and dance floors will be closed, and it's a far cry from business as usual.

Previous phases of the reopening plan allowed for the reopening of businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, construction sites, retail stores and limited indoor and outdoor seating at restaurants.

Gov. Charlie Baker has warned that Phase 3 will be the riskiest phase yet in the state's reopening. It will also be the last phase the state enters for a long time, since Phase 4 can only begin once there is a vaccine or other effective treatment.

Another 17 coronavirus deaths and 290 new cases were reported Friday in Massachusetts as people prepare to celebrate July Fourth weekend in the middle of a pandemic, and before Phase 3 begins Monday.
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