Massachusetts Bars And Amusement Parks Reopening In May; Road Races To Return

Massachusetts is about to enter the final phase of its reopening process. WBZ-TV's Mike LaCrosse reports.

Video Transcript

DAVID WADE: Major developments in our return to normal. The CDC now saying if you're fully vaccinated, outside and spaced out, you no longer have to wear a mask. And Governor Charlie Baker laying out the rest of the states reopening plan.

Relaxing some of our restrictions and issuing a timeline for all businesses to fully reopen. It is the most sweeping change so far and a sign of the progress that we're making in battling the virus and getting vaccinated. Good evening to you. I'm David Wade.

LISA HUGHES: And I'm Lisa Hughes. Here are some of the key dates. Starting this Friday, April 30th, you won't have to wear a mask outside in Massachusetts as long as you're socially distant. May 10th, amusement parks and water parks can reopen at 50% capacity.

Road races will also be able to start up again that day. May 29th, gathering limits increase to 200 people indoors, 250 people outdoors. And on August 1st, all businesses in Massachusetts can fully reopen. We have a team coverage tonight beginning with WBZ's Mike LaCrosse live at the State House. Mike, there are a lot of very happy people today.

MIKE LACROSSE: Lisa, people are thrilled the state is making progress. Business owners are also very excited that we're getting closer to normal operations.

CHARLIE BAKER: The light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to the hard work of so many, is getting closer.

MIKE LACROSSE: Governor Charlie Baker announcing the final steps of the state's reopening process. By August 1st, all businesses can reopen at 100% capacity.

CHARLIE BAKER: We hope that with more vaccines and a continued success in stopping COVID, we can take this step earlier, but it will depend on everyone continuing to get vaccinated and doing the right things.

MIKE LACROSSE: Step two of phase four kicks off May 10th, meaning capacity limits at large venues like Fenway Park, will jump to 25%. Amusement and water parks can open at 50%. And road races will be allowed to resume.

SCOTT GHELFI: Definitely exciting. We've been waiting to hear.

MIKE LACROSSE: The team behind the Falmouth Road Race is prepared to make any adjustments needed to host an in-person event on August 15.

SCOTT GHELFI: So we can now move forward working with our town and local officials to hopefully get our race approved.

MIKE LACROSSE: On May 29th, festivals and parades can return at 50%. Gathering limits in both public and private settings will increase to 250 people outdoors, and 200 people indoors.

JONATHAN SAPHIRE: I almost wanted to cry. Cry for the clients, too. I mean, it's definitely an emotional roller coaster the last 14 months.

MIKE LACROSSE: Jonathan Saphire of the Saphire Event Group says increasing the capacity limits will help bring the wedding industry back to normal.

JONATHAN SAPHIRE: I'm very happy for the couples that they can have the wedding that they've envisioned for their whole life.

MIKE LACROSSE: Also starting up again next month, singing will be allowed at businesses with strict social distance guidelines. Reporting from outside the State House. I'm Mike LaCrosse. WBZ News.

DAVID WADE: I feel like singing right now. Mike LaCrosse, thank you so much. The easing of restrictions means more fans will be allowed in stadiums starting on May 10th. Remember capacity limits will go from 12% up to 25%.

Let's give you an idea of what that means. For the Bruins and Celtics, they'll go from roughly 2,200 fans up to 4,600 fans. Fenway Park will be able to have more than 9,000 Sox fans at both day games and at night games. Right now they are at 4,500. Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots and the New England Revolution, can increase its attendance from nearly 8,000 to more than 16,000.

The hope there is to have Gillette Stadium full by the time the Patriots kick off in the fall. Lisa.