BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts announced on Wednesday that lower risk communities will be allowed to move into Step 2 of Phase 3 in the state’s coronavirus reopening plan as of October 5.
Lower risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been listed as “red” for the last three weeks on the Department of Public Health’s risk map.
“The activities we’re moving forward with today have not led to significant transmission in other states,” said Gov. Charlie Baker.
Fitting rooms can reopen at all retail stores.
In Step 2 of Phase 3, indoor performance venues can open with 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people. Outdoor performance venues can increase to 50% capacity, also with a 250-person limit. Baker said the guidance does not address venues like stadiums or arenas.
Gyms, museums, libraries, driving and flight schools can increase capacity to 50%.
In addition, recreation businesses can reopen activities like trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks, and laser tag.
The state’s limit for private indoor gatherings remains at a maximum of 25 people.
Outdoor gatherings at event venues and public spaces will be limited to 50 people for Step 1 cities and towns, and 100 people for those moving to Step 2.
Baker said the majority of clusters in Massachusetts have been from private gatherings.
“Very, very few examples of significant spread have occurred in organized, structured, rule-based settings. Most of our new cases – most of our clusters – have involved unstructured, non-rule-based gathering,” said Baker. “If people are going to go inside, which they probably will, I would much rather have them go inside in organized and supervised ways, with rules, than in unorganized, unsupervised ways with no rules.”
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said if a community becomes red again for three straight reports, it will have to move back to Phase 3, Step 1.
“It is important that we reopen our economy and support our local businesses,” Polito said.
Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Mike Kennealy said this is a critical time to support local businesses.
“Our Main Streets need you now more than ever, but remember to do your part to make those visits as safe as possible,” said Kennealy.