Reopening Massachusetts: Outdoor Dining, Less Restrictions Begin Monday

The state is now in Phase 4 Step 1 of reopening. WBZ-TV's Christina Hager reports.

Video Transcript

- Five, today is the day the state makes some big changes in its approach to the pandemic. Massachusetts is now entering Phase 4, the final phase in its reopening plan. That includes allowing fans in the stands at sporting events and larger gatherings. The state's travel restrictions are now advisories, meaning anyone arriving in the state after being elsewhere for more than 24 hours is advised, but not required, to quarantine for 10 days. And Boston's outdoor dining program is back on. Starting today, all people over 60 and essential workers are eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine.

We have a team of reporters covering this phase of the reopening and the latest on the vaccination effort. And we want to begin with WBZ's Christina Hager, live in the Back Bay, on what is, Christina, a beautiful evening for outdoor dining.

CHRISTINA HAGER: Was going to have to-- was going to say, Lisa, I have to say, this is really nice that it coincides with the weather taking just a beautiful turn. Newbury Street here is alive. Look at the set-up here. Crews have been working on this all day with the return of outdoor dining. We do have some video of a deck that was being built outside here earlier, outside La Neta Mexican restaurant. We spoke with the owner, who's really excited that this coincides with more state restrictions being eased with the start of Phase 4 reopening.

It also means sports venues can have fans back in the stands up to 12% capacity. And wedding venues, like the Fairmont Copley Plaza, can now have as many as 100 people inside, as well as dance floors.

GEORGE TERPILOWSKI: As people come to stay at the hotel to attend a wedding, they're also going out to dinner in the neighborhood, they're taking taxi rides around the city. They're maybe going to the aquarium and some of the other historical sites.

CHRISTINA HAGER: As exciting as all this is, there are some who are concerned the reopening is happening too fast. A group of organizations, including the Mass Teachers Association, sent a letter to the governor urging him to reconsider. But he says, with vaccinations on the rise, this timing makes sense. In the Back Bay, Christina Hager, WBZ News.