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More Outdoor Venues Reopen as Gov. Baker Announces Start of Phase 4 of State Plan

On Monday, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts will move forward in the Commonwealth’s reopening plan to reopen certain outdoor Phase 4 industries effective May 10.

The Commonwealth will reopen certain outdoor Phase 4 industries, including:

  • Amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks will be permitted to operate at a 50 percent capacity after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.
  • Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place with staggered starts and other appropriate safety measures after submitting safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.
  • Additionally, large capacity venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks currently open at 12 percent capacity as part of Phase 4, Step 1 will be permitted to increase capacity to 25 percent.

Additionally, large capacity venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks currently open at 12 percent capacity as part of Phase 4, Step 1 will be permitted to increase capacity to 25 percent.

Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high-risk sports.

Singing will also be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants, event venues and other businesses.

Grocery stores and retail stores with a pharmacy department should consider dedicated hours of operation for seniors, but will no longer be required to offer senior hours.

Additional Changes Anticipated to be Effective Saturday, May 29:

Contingent on continued positive trends in the public health and vaccination data, on May 29, additional sectors will be permitted to re-open and gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for event venues, public settings and private settings.

The additional sectors that will be permitted to open include:

  • Parades, street festivals and agricultural festivals, after submitting safety plans to the local board of health including measures for maintaining social distance, staffing and operations plans and hygiene and cleaning protocols.
  • Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries, which will be subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90 minute limit and no dance floors.

Subject to public health and vaccination data, the restaurant guidance will be updated to eliminate the requirement that food be served with alcohol and to increase the maximum table size to 10.