Here’s what can — and can’t — resume in Phase 3 of the Massachusetts reopening plan

The first step of the phase began Monday.

A violinist performs last week outside Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Elise Amendola / AP

As coronavirus cases in Massachusetts continue to trend downward, the first step of Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan began Monday.

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According to Gov. Charlie Baker, the new phase allows businesses and activities to resume that will “certainly draw more people into indoor settings,” where there is a greater risk of spreading COVID-19, joining restaurants and retail stores, which reopened under a bevy of restrictions in Phase 2.

However, the highest-risk businesses — from bars to amusement parks and other activities associated with mass gatherings — won’t resume until Phase 4, which Baker says will not begin until there is an effective treatment or vaccine for COVID-19.


The activities that can reopen Monday, such as gyms and movie theaters, also remain subject to sector-specific restrictions, including occupancy limits and other measures to promote physical distancing and sanitation.

Here’s the full list:

What can resume during Phase 3

Libraries — can open for browsing

Casino gaming floors

Horse racing tracks and simulcast facilities

Gyms and fitness centers

Movie theaters



Theaters and performance venues — Not including large venues.

  • Outdoor venues only in Step 1 of Phase 3; indoor venues in Step 2 (date to be announced).

Non-athletic instructional classes — all ages; arts, education, life skills

Outdoor event spaces used for gatherings and celebrations

  • Outdoor gatherings, like weddings, are limited to 25 percent of a facility’s permitted occupancy with a maximum of 100 people
  • Indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people in a single enclosed space, or eight people per 1,000 square feet

Motion picture, television, and streaming productions

Events hosted by fraternal orders

Limited organized amateur sports programs — indoor and outdoor for all ages

Indoor recreation

  • Step 1: activities with low potential for contact (batting cages, driving ranges, go karts, bowling alleys, rock-climbing walls)
  • Step 2: activities with greater potential for contact (laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, obstacle courses)

Sightseeing and other organized tours (bus tours, duck tours, harbor cruises, whale watching)

Indoor historical sites

Fishing and hunting tournaments, along with other amateur or professional derbies

Professional sports without spectators

What has to wait until Phase 4

Amusement parks, theme parks, gaming arcades, indoor or outdoor water parks

Saunas, hot-tubs, and steam rooms at health clubs and other facilities

Large-capacity venues used for group or spectator sports, entertainment, business, and cultural events

  • This includes stadiums and arenas, dance floors, exhibition, and convention halls

Bars, dance clubs, and nightclubs

  • This includes breweries, beer gardens, and wineries without seated food service under retail food permits

Fraternal orders serving as a large-capacity venue or bar

Overnight summer camps


Ball pits

Street festivals, parades, and agricultural festivals

Road races and other large, outdoor organized group athletic events


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