What you need to know about new Massachusetts coronavirus restrictions

A rollback in the state’s reopening plan amid a current surge in coronavirus cases means businesses will have to cut capacity, heighten safety protocols or close effective Sunday.

The state will revert to Step 1 of Phase 3 of the reopening plan on Dec.13 amid “disturbing trends” in coronavirus data that is straining hospitals, Gov. Charlie Baker announced during a Tuesday press conference at the State House.

Performance venues and certain “high-contact indoor recreational businesses” including roller rinks, trampoline parks, laser tag venues, and escape rooms across the state will have to shut down completely. Fitting rooms will also be shuttered.

Most other businesses — including retail stores, gyms, offices, churches, libraries, movie theaters, arcades, golf facilities and museums — will have to cut capacity to 40%, down from 50% of their maximum.

Outdoor gatherings will be cut from 100 to 50 people. Anyone planning to host a gathering of 25 people or more outside will be required to notify their local health board in advance.

Office workers, diners and gym-goers will face additional restrictions as well. Gym guests will be required to wear a mask at all times. Office workers must wear a mask whenever they are not alone or in their personal workspace.

Diners will be required to wear a mask whenever they aren’t eating or drinking. Tables will be limited to parties of six people — down from 10 — and restricted to 90-minute time limits. Food court seating in malls will be shut down entirely.

Read More