Beginning Monday, July 6, gyms, movie theaters and museums will be allowed to reopen as part of Phase 3 of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 reopening plan. Also allowed will be weddings and professional sporting events, but both have significant limitations.
Gov. Charlie Baker announced the beginning of Phase 3 Thursday afternoon, and said residents of the state have done a good job slowing the spread of COVID-19. He added that Phase 3 will not start in the City of Boston until Monday, July 13.
Phase 3 will be longer than previous phases, Baker said, and Phase 4 (the beginning of the “new normal”) will not begin until a vaccine or other treatment for COVID-19 is found. Baker also encouraged residents to remain vigilant in following steps to reduce the spread of the virus, including washing hands, wearing masks and socially distancing.
“We know that COVID-19 won’t be taking any time off this summer, and we need to maintain vigilance,” said Baker, who added that he did not want Massachusetts to have to move backward like other states have recently.
With July 4 coming up, he asked residents to celebrate in a way that is safe and prevents COVID infections.
Phase 3 applies to indoor fitness establishments, including fitness studios, weight lifting areas, yoga, aerobics, indoor pools and racquetball courts. They will be able to open at 40 percent capacity. Locker rooms and shower areas can reopen, too, but saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms will not be allowed to do so. These facilities will have to follow the state’s guidelines, including limiting the numbers of people and requiring face masks, said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.
Indoor gatherings will be limited to eight people per 1,000 sq. ft. of floor space, with a total limit of 25 people. Outdoor gatherings in enclosed outdoor areas are limited to 25 percent of capacity, with a total limit of 100.
Movie theaters and indoor and outdoor performing arts centers are allowed to reopen if they are of “moderate size,” according to the reopening plan. They will have reduced capacities. Larger capacity venues will not open until Phase 4.
Also closed until the beginning of Phase 4 are bars and night clubs.
Professional sports teams will be able to play games, but without spectators, Baker said. The Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball is set to start in late-July, with the first game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees scheduled to take place on July 23.
Museums and small guided tours will be allowed to begin on July 6, too. Polito said museums will be limited in the capacity, and may have timed entry tickets. Also allowed to reopen are historic sites and houses.
Weddings and other large gatherings will be allowed, but Baker said that dance floors and bar areas will remain closed.
Indoor recreation businesses, such as trampoline, rock climbing, laser tag, bowling and go karts are allowed to open in Phase 3. Overnight camping will also be allowed.
Casinos are another business that will be allowed to open beginning Monday.
See a list of what will open in all the phases by clicking here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-when-can-my-business-reopen