Massachusetts is rolling back its economic re-opening plans as COVID-19 infection rates rise.
On Friday, Aug. 7, Gov. Charlie Baker said that Massachusetts will:
- Reduce the limit on outdoors gatherings from 100 to 50 people (indoor gatherings limit will remain at 25 people);
- Rescind the ability of restaurants to sell alcoholic drinks to go;
- And require face coverings where more than 10 people from different households will be mixing.
The new rules will be applied to public and private gatherings. They go into effect Tuesday, Aug. 11. State and local law enforcement officials will be able to enforce the new restrictions.
Baker said Massachusetts is also postponing the start of the re-opening plan Phase 3, Step 2, which was set to commence in September.
Massachusetts has recently seen an uptick in COVID-19 infections. Baker said people getting together in close quarters is aiding in the virus’ spread. The increase in COVID-19 infections is not statewide, but there are pockets, Baker said. Massachusetts COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been trending downward since May.
He also announced the creation of a COVID-19 Enforcement and Intervention Team, which will devise ways to enforce mandates put in place to stop the virus. In particular, there will be more government support for fining violators and suspending or canceling liquor licenses.
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