Lower risk communities allowed to transition to Phase 3, step 2 on Oct. 5

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration announced that lower-risk communities will be allowed to transition to step 2 of Phase 3 on Monday, October 5. All other communities will remain in step 1 of Phase 3.

The governor is reopening more after putting a pause on it over the summer.

“We are trying to create frameworks here that work here for people in Mass. that is based, in part, on where they live," Gov. Baker said.

Lower-risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been a “red” community in any of the last three Department of Public Health weekly reports.

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Beginning October 5, a small number of sectors in these lower-risk communities will be eligible to reopen with restrictions in step 2 of Phase 3.

This includes:

  • Indoor performance venues will be permitted to open with 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people.
  • Outdoor performance venue capacity will increase to 50% with a max of 250 people.
  • For arcades and indoor and outdoor recreation businesses, additional Step II activities like trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag will also be permitted to open and capacity will increase to 50%.
  • Fitting rooms will be permitted to open in all types of retail stores.
  • Gyms, museums, libraries and driving and flight schools will also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50%.

The limit for indoor gatherings will remain at a maximum of 25 people for all communities. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 50 people for all communities.

Outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings will have a limit of 50 people in communities in step 1 of Phase 3. Lower-risk communities in step 2 of Phase 3 will have a limit of 100 people. Capacity limits and other protocols will be enforced by state and local police.

PREVIOUS: Baker postpones next step in state’s reopening, forms COVID-19 enforcement team

But the big change is if the city or town numbers slide into the “red,” high-risk category they will have to revert back.

“If a community becomes red again for three consecutive reports, it will have to move back to Phase 3 step 1 and remain there until public health data indicates it has returned to a lower-risk level for three consecutive reports," Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito explained.

Gov. Baker said he understands people will travel in and out of low- and high-risk communities.

“If you go to a roller rink, that roller rink has rules and that roller rink has guidance and everyone is going to be expected to follow them, and they are designed to do one thing, which is to keep people safe and limit the spread,” he said.

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