Restaurants in Massachusetts will be allowed to offer indoor dining and nail salons and other close contact services will be able to reopen Monday as part of the next stage of the state's reopening from the coronavirus shutdowns, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday.
The second step of Phase 2 of the state's 4-phased reopening plan also includes increasing capacity at offices from 25% to 50% and allowing retailers to open fitting rooms by appointment only. Retail outlets will also be permitted to offer dressing rooms, though by appointment only, and offices will be allowed to increase their capacity to 50%, he said.
Baker said he made the decisions because the state's rate of positive coronavirus tests continues to decline.
"We're moving in the right direction as we continue our gradual reopening," he said.
Twenty-eight more coronavirus deaths were reported in Massachusetts on Saturday, as well as 286 more cases of the virus. The daily increase in COVID-19 deaths and cases in Massachusetts is dramatically lower than what the state was reporting two months ago, at the height of the local coronavirus surge.
Earlier this month, restaurants were allowed to resume outdoor dining. They've been limited to take out and delivery service only since the pandemic hit in mid-March.
For indoor dining on Monday, tables will have to be at least six feet apart and parties will be limited to six people, Baker said. Bar seating will still be banned but there won't be any additional seating capacity limits, as have been imposed in other states.
The Massachusetts Restaurant Association, meanwhile, warned Friday that the coronavirus pandemic could wipe out 3,600 eateries, or roughly 25% of the state's 16,000 restaurants.
Bob Luz, the association's president, said downtown Boston will likely be hit harder than others because downtown activity from office workers, tourists and college students has virtually evaporated.
Phase 3, including the reopening of gyms, outdoor camps, museums and more, will start no sooner than July 6, Baker said Friday.
Here's where we stand on reopening Massachusetts:
What Businesses Are Open in Massachusetts Now?
Note that reopened businesses are still required to follow workspace safety guidelines that incorporate social distancing, hygiene and staffing requirements, as well as guidelines specific to individual sectors.
- Essential businesses
- Banks and financial services
- Churches and other houses of worship
- Restaurants (outdoor seating)
- Retail stores
- Short-term lodgings like hotels, motels and inns
- Construction, home remodeling and installations
- Warehouses and distribution centers
- In-house services like babysitting and nannying
- Real estate open houses, with restrictions
- Hair salons and barbershops
- Day camps
- Youth sports
- Funeral homes
- Office spaces
- Car dealerships
- Car washes
- Drive-in movie theaters
- Pet grooming
- Beaches, golf clubs and facilities, parks, fishing, hunting, boating, outdoor adventure activities
- Outdoor recreational facilities like pools, playgrounds, mini golf and batting cages
- Outdoor amateur sports
- Professional sports practice and training
- Outdoor historical spaces, gardens, zoos and public spaces
- Gun stores and shooting ranges
- Lab spaces
- Casino hotels and restaurants (but not gaming floors, theaters or arenas)
- Driving schools
- Occupational schools -- if students are finishing "a degree, program, or prerequisite for employment, or other similar requirement for completion"
- Non-close contact personal services, like window washing, photography and career coaching
- Non-athletic instructional classes for arts, education or life skills, for anyone under 18 and in groups of less than 10
- Flight schools
- Beer gardens, breweries, distilleries and wineries -- if serving outdoor food under dining permits
What Businesses Will Reopen Monday, June 22, in Massachusetts?
Any business in Step 2 of Phase 2 will reopen Monday, June 22. That includes:
- Restaurants for indoor dining
- Close-contact personal services like nail salons, massages and tattoo parlors
- Personal trainers
What Businesses Are Still Closed in Massachusetts?
Any business in Phase 3 and 4 of the reopening plan is still required to stay closed. That includes:
- Bars, nightclubs, dance clubs, beer gardens, breweries, distilleries and wineries (Phase 4)
- Outdoor weddings, events and large gatherings with moderate capacity (Phase 3)
- Outdoor camps (Phase 3)
- Movie theaters (Phase 3 for moderate-capacity theaters, Phase 4 for large-capacity theaters)
- Gyms, fitness clubs and health clubs (Phase 3, with their sauas, steam rooms and hot tubs in Phase 4)
- Indoor amateur sports and athletic facilities besides for youth programs (Phase 3)
- Museums and aquariums (Phase 3)
- Indoor historic spaces (Phase 3)
- Moderate-capacity theaters and performance halls (Phase 3)
- Large-capacity venues, like theaters, ballrooms, stadiums and convention halls (Phase 4)
- Amusement parks, theme parks and water parks (Phase 4)
- Non-athletic instructional classes for arts, education or life skills, for anyone 18 or older and in groups of any size (Phase 3)
- Movie and TV productions (Phase 3)