SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Starting Friday, May 7, Somerville will be easing some of the city's coronavirus restrictions.
Since coronavirus cases appear to be decreasing and more people are getting vaccinated, the city is transitioning into a modified Phase 4 Step 1 of the state's reopening plan.
According to the City of Somerville, the changes going into effect Friday will be:
- With any additional guidance noted below, all businesses in categories included through the State’s Phase 4, Step 1 as well as houses of worship will be allowed to operate at up to 50% capacity with social distancing and with all sector-specific guidelines followed.
- Included in the above are movie theaters and bingo halls, previously closed in Somerville.
- Event capacity limits at private residences will remain at 10 people indoors and will increase to 25 people outdoors.
- Event capacity limits at public event venues or spaces will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors with approved safety plans for social distancing, masking guidance, and other safety protocols.
- Singing (while masked) and woodwind/brass instrument performances will be allowed outdoors. As per State guidance, greater distancing requirements are required for wind and brass instruments and singing performances including at least 10 feet between performers and performers must be 25 feet from the audience for these performance categories.
- Indoor performances, subject to the 50% business capacity limits or event gathering limits above, will be allowed for all performance types except for singing and woodwind and brass instruments, which remain prohibited indoors until further notice.
- With the approval of the Somerville Licensing Commission, restaurants and bars or breweries can partner to offer outdoor dining with alcoholic beverages. All other regulations must be followed.
“We are making real progress in Massachusetts on reducing COVID-19 cases, and to keep that momentum going as reopening progresses, I strongly urge everyone to keep up the good work. If we all get the vaccine, wear our facemasks, keep our distance in public, stay home and get tested when feeling ill, and wash our hands frequently, we can keep one another safer as we work to drive down COVID-19 cases and strive for a great summer,” Doug Kress, the Director of Health and Human Services said.
Starting June 1, Somerville is set to expand athletic activities and indoor performances. These plans are subject to change.