Gov. Charlie Baker announced the state will allow indoor dining and businesses to boost office capacity to 50% come Monday as the state continues to see a drop in the coronavirus infection rate.
Nail salons and fitting rooms, by appointment only, can also open up come Monday.
“Reopening Massachusetts is working,” Baker said at his Friday COVID-19 update. “I know it can’t happen fast enough” but the steps to cool the virus is working.
Baker said the average COVID-19 test rate in the state has dropped by 92% to to where it stands today — 2.3%.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said the second step of the Phase 2 opening comes with grants to help restaurants expand outdoor dining and other needs as they reopen.
As for indoor dining, Baker said he is sticking to 6 feet between tables with no maximum to the number of tables. “The standards that are going to be in place … are designed to make sure it’s a safe experience,” he said.
He added COVID-19’s “cruelty all over the world” was no one’s fault, but the result of a forced change of life due to the virus. “Don’t let your guard down,” Baker stressed, saying full details of this next phase are posted online.
Baker said he wants to look at “two weeks” of indoor dining data before he moves to a decision on Phase 3 when gyms can open up. That places the next phase into July.
On other fronts:
- On Yarmouth jumping the gun on reopening, he said some towns have gone further than advised on restrictions and others have not.
- As for a recent state police report on his son’s JetBlue groping allegations, Baker said Friday to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
This is a developing story …