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Governor Baker Announces March 1 Date for Advancement to Phase 3 Step 2; Tentative Date for Phase 4 Reopening to be March 22

Today, in light of recent positive public health trends, Governor Baker made several announcements related to reopening protocols in Massachusetts.

State to Advance to Phase 3, Step 2

Starting on Monday, March 1, 2021, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will re-enter Phase 3, Step 2 of the Reopening Process. Highlights of this action include, but are not limited to:

  • Office space capacities will be increased to 50%.
  • Capacities for libraries, places of worship, museums, cultural and historic facilities will increase to 50%.
  • Capacities for restaurants will no longer be tied to total occupancy limits, and instead will require social distancing and PPP protocol implementation as appropriate to ensure public health safety.
  • Diners will still be restricted to a 90-minute time limit, and there will still be a maximum of 6 diners per table.
  • Musical performances will be allowed as long as appropriate social distancing protocols are in place.
  • Indoor sports venues, concert halls and theaters will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 500 persons.

For the most up-to-date guidance, requirements and information on the Commonwealth's COVID-19 response, please visit:

Tentative Phase 4 Start Date Announced

Governor Baker also announced a tentative start date of March 22 for the commencement of Phase 4 Step 1. This date may change based on relevant public health data.

As part of this announcement, indoor/outdoor stadiums, arenas and large venues (defined as having capacity for 5,000 or more) will be allowed to reopen at 12% capacity. These venues will be required to submit a safety plan in advance of re-opening.

Additionally, as part of the Phase 4 announcement and subject to public health data, overnight summer camps will be allowed to open Summer 2021.

All other Phase 4 industries will not be able to open until a future reopening step. Those include:

  • Road races, street festivals, and parades, and fairs
  • Amusement parks, theme parks, outdoor water parks
  • Indoor water parks and indoor/outdoor ball pits
  • Saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms at fitness centers, health clubs, and other facilities
  • Beer gardens/ breweries/ wineries/ distilleries
  • Bars, dance clubs, and nightclubs—venues offering entertainment, beverages, or dancing and not providing seated food service.

We urge those with questions about Phase 4 reopening to visit for the most up-to-date guidance, requirements and information on the Commonwealth's COVID-19 response.

Event Venue Capacity Limits Updated

Finally, starting March 22 and subject to change based on public health data, event venues and public setting gathering limits will increase to 100 persons indoor and 150 persons outdoor. Private settings, such as private residences, will remain limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Dance floors may be open at weddings and events only.

NAIOP will continue to advocate for policies, Executive Orders and legislation that address how this public health crisis is affecting real estate and overall economic development. We are working on numerous initiatives. Please feel free to reach out to CEO Tamara Small or Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs Anastasia Nicolaou if you have any questions.

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