Capacity increases for restaurants, stores, gyms and more

DEDHAM, Mass. — Starting Monday, restaurants and businesses across the state can increase their capacity from 25% to 40%.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced the change last week.

Among the businesses allowed to once again operate at 40% capacity are:

  • Arcades and recreational businesses
  • Driving and flight schools
  • Gyms and health clubs
  • Libraries
  • Lodging
  • Movie theaters (no more than 50 people per theater)
  • Museums
  • Offices
  • Places of worship
  • Restaurants
  • Retail
  • Close-contact personal services

The new capacity limit does not include workers and staff.

John Gibbons, of Dedham, said he trusts the elected officials who are making the decisions.

“As far as the restrictions go I think it’s been all appropriate, I think Charlie Baker is doing a tremendous job, he’s following the science,” Gibbons said.

“I fortunately haven’t had any difficulties getting into planet fitness or any of the places that I’d like to go to so I’ve been somewhat fortunate in that respect but um, we’re all getting through this together.”

Businesses have been limited to 25% capacity since late December. Gov. Baker initially tightened capacity restrictions in an effort to “pause activity and reduce mobility” and to help curb the post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases.

Now, Baker said COVID-19 case numbers are trending in the right direction.

The seven-day average positive test rate improved from 5.94% in December to 3.3% as of last Wednesday. Baker also said hospitalizations are down 33% since peaking in early January.