As of today, February 8, at 5 a.m., restaurants in Massachusetts can officially operate at 40 percent capacity. Gov. Charlie Baker announced the news in his February 4 press briefing. The course change eases restrictions that were put in place on December 26, 2020 that capped restaurant capacities at 25 percent.
Baker cited encouraging trends in public health data as the reason for dialing back restrictions for restaurants and other small business.
“Hospitalizations are down 33 percent since they peaked in January,” said Gov. Baker on Feb. 4. “And the seven day average of cases is also down by about 53 percent since its peak, from 6,120 down to 3,274.”
The decision marks the second significant easing of restrictions in the past two weeks. On January 25, Baker lifted the state’s stay-at-home advisory and early business closure order that required restaurants to close by 9:30 p.m.
So, restaurants in Massachusetts can now remain open later with more people packed into dining rooms despite the fact that the state’s restaurant workers are still not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Loosened restrictions in Massachusetts notwithstanding, there are still very real risks associated with dining out.
Keep an eye on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination page for more information about the rollout and eligibility, and find information on vaccination locations here.
• Massachusetts Restaurants Will Soon Be Able to Operate at 40 Percent Capacity [EBOS]
• Massachusetts Shrinks Restaurant Capacity to 25% for at Least Two Weeks [EBOS]
• Massachusetts Restaurants Can Stay Open Past 9:30 p.m. [EBOS]
• When Will Massachusetts Restaurant Workers Be Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine? [EBOS]
• The New Risks of Dining Out [EBOS]