Indoor Dining, Increased Office Capacity Set for Monday

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Indoor Dining, Increased Office Capacity Set for Monday

Economy News | June 20, 2020
By: Chris Geehern

“Table for two” may be a common refrain across Massachusetts on Monday as restaurants resume indoor table service and offices ramp up to 50 percent of capacity as part of the next phase of the state’s re-opening plan.

Governor Charlie Baker announced yesterday that Step Two of Phase II of the commonwealth’s re-opening plan will begin Monday, allowing business operations ranging from nail salons to personal training to retail dressing rooms to resume operations under sector-specific guidelines. The re-openings reflect improvements in key COVID-19 data such as new cases and hospitalizations.

Businesses opening Monday must meet all safety standards, create a COVID-19 control plan, and complete a self-certification. The Baker Administration had previously released sector-specific guidance in advance of Phase II:

“Massachusetts continues to implement a deliberate process for re-opening the economy while simultaneously moderating the spread of COVID-19. It’s a prudent approach given the surge in COVID-19 cases in other states that have aggressively re-opened,” said Brooke Thomson, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at Associated Industries of Massachusetts.”

The state released a four-phased plan in May to reopen the economy based on public health data, spending at least three weeks in each phase. Massachusetts has continued to see downward trends in hospitalizations, which are now under 1,000, and positive test rates, which have fallen to 2.3 percent.

“Reopening Massachusetts is working,” Baker said, as reported in State House News Service.

“Business is coming back, people are regaining that sense of purpose that was lost. I know it can’t happen fast enough, but people in Massachusetts are proving that we can reopen and continue to bring the fight to the virus when we all do our part.”

Baker urged people to continue to socially distance, wear masks and practice proper hygiene, and said if people can still work from home they should “for a little longer” to limit crowding on public transit.