Mass. moves to Phase 4 Step 2 of reopening plan

BOSTON — Beginning Monday, May 10, Massachusetts will move to Phase 4 Step 2 of its reopening plan.

The following changes will go into effect, according to state guidance:

  • Large venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks currently open as part of Phase 4, Step 1 at 12% will be permitted to increase capacity to 25%.
  • The Commonwealth will reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries including amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks that will be permitted to operate at a 50% capacity after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.
  • Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place with staggered starts after submitting safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.
  • Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high risk sports.
  • Singing will also be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants, event venues and other businesses.

TD Garden and Fenway Park are two large venues in Boston that are preparing to welcome more people into games.

Celtics fans filing out of TD Garden on Sunday told Boston 25 News that the game, at 12% capacity, didn’t have the atmosphere they hoped for.

“By the time you sit down and relax, there’s like nobody near you. It doesn’t really feel like you’re at a game,” said Tony Doveid of Raynham.

“I’d love to see more fans in there. They definitely need it,” said Dillon Barbour of Raynham.

Others said they didn’t think even a 25% capacity would be enough to feel normal again, and expressed interest in the state moving faster to reopen.

“I just heard Atlanta was 100% today at the Braves game so I don’t see why we can’t be at at least 75, 80,” said Weston Pearson of Plymouth.

Sporting events are a known lifeline to nearby restaurants, many of which shut down during the pandemic due to financial reasons.

“If they don’t have events going, a lot of the restaurants aren’t even usually open,” explained Sires Rivers, Manager of Causeway Restaurant and Bar, across from TD Garden.

Rivers said his staff is just grateful that the Commonwealth is moving in the right direction.

“That crowd, we depend on a lot so. It’s a huge factor,” he explained. “Honestly with everything going on, we’re just happy for the increase in general.”

Gov. Charlie Baker also announced Friday that beginning Monday, supermarkets and other grocery stores will no longer have to offer senior special shopping hours anymore.

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