Lawmakers work to extend several COVID-related measures set to expire

WALTHAM, Mass. — Just days before the Massachusetts’s State of Emergency is set to expire, several COVID-related measures could be extended. The Senate passed a bill allowing for several covid perks to continue.

In Waltham, city leaders decided to close down Moody Street again, allowing restaurants to do outdoor dining on the sidewalks and the road. It looks like this setup could stick around much longer than next Tuesday.

As it stands right now, several COVID perks that were created to help businesses and people get by are set to expire on June 15. But yesterday, the Senate passed a bill that allows cities and towns to extend permits for outdoor dining through April 1, 2022. Restaurants would also be able to continue their cocktails to-go with take-out orders until March of next year.

Some other COVID measures included in the Senate’s bill extend the rental assistance offer to tenants facing eviction in April 2022.

The bill also extends mail-in voting in Massachusetts until December 15. Cities and towns can hold remote meetings through December 15 of this year.

The Senate also extended access to necessary healthcare services.

The bill will now go to the House for a vote. House lawmakers will have to move quickly if they want to get it to the governor’s desk before Tuesday.