New Covid-19 Restrictions Set To Take Effect In Massachusetts

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The new Covid-19 restrictions announced by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker are set to take effect across the state at 12 a.m. on Friday.

Baker made the announcement on Monday amid a rise in Covid-19 cases across the state, as the state's latest weekly data report shows 121 Massachusetts cities and towns in the "red zone" for high risk transmission of the virus.

New rules include a stay-at-home advisory, a curfew for businesses, a drop in capacity limits for indoor gatherings, and tighter restrictions on mask wearing.

The stay-at-home advisory will be in place from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., where residents are asked to stay home unless they are going to work or to the grocery store, according to Governor Baker.

An executive order also requires indoor recreational facilities, theaters, casinos and other performance and entertainment venues to close by 9:30 p.m., while restaurants are also required to stop providing table service by that time. They can continue to serve takeout after the curfew.

Stores that sell liquor and marijuana retailers must also stop selling by 9:30 p.m., excluding non-alcohol items and medical marijuana.

In a press conference Baker said, "We want to do everything in our power to avoid reverting back to Phase 1 or Phase 2 of our reopening plan, but that requires us all to step up and make some changes.”

Baker has said in recent weeks that those some of those personal changes include younger people avoiding large gatherings, and families celebrating Thanksgiving with their immediate household only.

Along with the curfews, the limit for indoor gatherings at private homes has been capped at 10 people, while the outdoor gathering limit is 25. Those events must also end by 9:30 p.m.

"The new gatherings order also requires that organizers of gatherings report known positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department in that community," a press release said. "[It] specifies that fines for violating the gathering order will be $500 for each person above the limit at a particular gathering."

The order also requires everyone in Massachusetts older than five years old to wear a face covering in public, regardless of whether or not social distancing can be achieved.

"The difference here is we’re eliminating the six-foot spread," Baker said. "We’re basically saying if you go out in public wear a mask."

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