Health

Indoor dining to resume Monday in Mass.

BOSTON — For the first time in more than three months, Massachusetts will be allowed to open for indoor dining Monday.

That’s when Phase 2 officially shifts to its second stage, which also gives the green light to close contact services like nail salons and 50% capacity in offices.

The transition follows consistent positive trends in the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Restaurants across Massachusetts have been eagerly preparing for the milestone of finally welcoming customers back inside. “To be able to come inside and use the AC, and to have a space where you can get out of the elements is a big plus,” said Bob Symonds with Cathedral Station in Boston’s South End.

Cathedral Station on Washington Street is among the restaurants that have been serving customers on outside patios for the last two weeks. The weather has cooperated thus far, but on Sunday night, the potential for rain threw a curveball into the mix.

“If that happens, everybody has to leave. They have to go to their car or wherever they need to be. Once the rain is over, we sanitize and we start over again,” Symonds explained.

Indoor dining will also mean extended hours at many establishments, which have been operating on limited schedules.

“This is our 29th wedding anniversary, and I was petrified that we weren’t going to be able to sit in a restaurant and have a nice elegant dinner somewhere,” said John Ferguson, who’s thrilled that the option of indoor dining is back on the table.

The second step of Phase 2 is coming just in time for John and Darryl Ferguson’s 29th wedding anniversary.

However, it may not have come soon enough for up to 3,600 restaurants in the state predicted to close by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.

“Stuff like this happens once every 100 years. We just got unfortunate to live through it this time around,” Ferguson added.

>>>MORE: With bars and restaurants reopening in different phases, where does that leave wineries?

Businesses in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, including gyms and casinos, will also have to watch from sidelines a little while longer.

Gov. Charlie Baker has delayed the transition into that phase by at least a week, which means it will start no sooner than July 6.

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