Business leaders in Massachusetts expressed a measure of relief on Tuesday that the Baker administration’s new COVID-19 restrictions fell short of a widespread shutdown, while still expressing concern for struggling businesses, especially those required to close.
For most businesses, the rollback means they can still operate, but under slightly stricter conditions. Retailers, gyms, museums and corporate offices are limited to 40% of their typical capacity beginning on Sunday, rather than the current 50%. Restaurants can sit up to six at a table, rather than 10. In some Massachusetts cities and towns, that was already the case.
Many small businesses are struggling simply to stay afloat, and further restrictions will make that already formidable task even tougher. But other governors and mayors have gone further by banning indoor dining or closing gyms.
“It could have been worse. We could be a California and going back to lockdowns, and no indoor dining, and 25% capacity,” Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst said.