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The original item was published from 2/25/2021 2:16:52 PM to 2/25/2021 2:17:00 PM.

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Health Department

Posted on: February 25, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Baker-Polito Administration - Press Release 02-25-21

Baker Polito

PRESS RELEASE: February 25, 2021

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, and Secretary Kennealy made several announcements pertaining to the state’s reopening process and sector specific guidance. These include: 

  1. Phase 3, Step 2: Effective March 1, 2021, the Commonwealth will move forward into Phase 3, Step 2. This will reopen:
    • Indoor performance venues such as concert halls, theaters, and other indoor performance spaces

o Open at 50% capacity with 500 person maximum

    • Indoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact: laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, obstacle courses

o Open at 50% capacity


  1. Updated Capacity Limits: Effective March 1, 2021, the following industries will increase to 50% capacity. 

    Employees will be exempt from capacity restrictions in all of these industries:
  • Arcades & Other Indoor and Outdoor Recreation Businesses
  • Close Contact Personal Services
  • Driving and Flight Schools
  • Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
  • Golf Facilities (indoor)
  • Libraries
  • Operators of Lodging (common spaces)
  • Museums, Cultural & Historic Facilities, Guided Tours
  • Office Spaces
  • Places of Worship
  • Sectors not Otherwise Addressed
  • Theaters and Performance Venues
  • Relevant EEA Industries – Youth sports spectators etc.

  • The following industries remain unaffected by capacity limits:

o Drive in movie theaters

o Construction

o Laboratories

o Manufacturing


  1. Additional Guidance Changes:
    • Effective March 1, 2021, Restaurants will no longer be subject to a % seated capacity limit and their capacity is limited only by the requirement of 6 feet between tables

o Musical performances allowed in restaurants (with appropriate distancing)

o 90 minute time limit on tables stays in place

o Limit of no more than 6 per table stays in place

o Food courts remain closed

    • Effective March 1, 2021, Fitting rooms may open in all retail businesses


  1. Gatherings Limit: Effective March 22, 2021, subject to public health data, the gatherings limit will increase for event venues and public settings, but will stay the same in private settings*:
    • Event Venues and Public Settings:

o 100 indoors

o 150 outdoors

    • *Private Settings (such as private residences):

o 10 indoors

o 25 outdoors


  1. Phase 4, Step 1: Effective March 22, 2021, subject to public health data, the Commonwealth will move into Phase 4, Step 1:
    • Indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks will reopen with a 12% capacity limit

o A large venue is defined as a having a capacity of 5,000 or more

o Venues with capacity under 5,000 are subject to the Indoor and Outdoor Performance Venue guidance

o Large venues will be required to submit a safety plan to the Department of Public Health

    • Overnight Camps will be allowed to open for Summer 2021
    • Exhibition and Convention Halls may reopen, subject to gathering limits and event rules
    • Dance floors may open at weddings and events only

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

o Road races, street festivals, and parades, and fairs

o Amusement parks, theme parks, outdoor water parks

o Indoor water parks and indoor / outdoor ball pits

o Saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms at fitness centers, health clubs, and other facilities

o Beer gardens / breweries / wineries / distilleries

o Bars, dance clubs, and nightclubs—venues offering entertainment, beverages, or dancing and not providing seated food service

Updated guidance can be found at

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