New restrictions come in accordance with a worrying uptick in Massachusetts positive cases. Last Tuesday, these stricter COVID-19 restrictions, announced recently by Governor Charlie Baker, went into effect. The new rules affect face mask protocol, outdoor group sizes, restaurants, and fines — here’s everything you need to know.
For those looking to gather outside with friends, the previous rules which allowed for 100 people have been reduced to 50 people in a single space. For small areas, the limit is 25, or approximately 8 people per 1,000 square meter. This is only allowed if 6 feet of space can be maintained between people, regardless of the size of the gathering. These restrictions do not apply to parks, beaches, political rallies, or religious activities, but does apply to programs, parties, and social outings. For indoor spaces, the restrictions for group size are still 25 people.
Face masks are required indoors and outdoors if 6 feet of social distance can’t be maintained. The new restrictions add that any gathering of more than 10 people from more than one household must wear a mask, and could face a fine for not doing so. This counts for all public and private venues and locations. Face mask exemptions include individuals under 2 years olf and those with a medical condition or disability that prevents them from doing so.
From Tuesday on, alcoholic beverages can only be served at restaurants if accompanied by food prepared on-site. This food does not include potato chips, pretzels, or any other pre-packaged or manufactured food. The food must be ordered at the same time as the alcoholic beverage. These new restrictions are in place in order to stop bars from masquerading as restaurants.
Read more about the above restrictions, and the new rules regarding enforceable fines here. Stay safe and healthy!