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Relaxed COVID-19 restrictions took effect in Mass. this morning. Here’s what that means

Lenora Kahn, her dog Bella, and Judith Albert dined outside of Marjoram Roux on Railroad Street in Great Barrington, Mass., Friday, Dec. 11, 2020.Ben Garver/Associated Press

The stay-at-home advisory and early business closure order were both lifted in Massachusetts Monday morning in the wake of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations trending downward steadily.

Governor Charlie Baker announced last week that the restriction adopted in November requiring restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and many other businesses to close at 9:30 p.m. would expire, as well as an advisory that residents remain at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Under the advisory, residents were asked not to leave their homes except for work or school, or take care of essential errands like going to the pharmacy, the grocery store, receiving deliveries, and picking up take-out food.

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Other measures Baker imposed last year when a new surge of infections hit the state remain in effect through Feb. 8 — including the requirement that many businesses continue to maintain 25 percent capacity limits. Restrictions on gatherings will also remain in place, at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, and includes private homes as well as public spaces.

These are the businesses that can now operate past 9:30 p.m., according to the state:

  • Restaurants (Baker’s order allowed takeout and delivery past 9:30 p.m., but in-person dining had to stop at that time.)
  • Liquor stores and other businesses that sell alcohol.
  • Adult-use marijuana retailers.
  • Movie theaters, outdoor theaters, and drive-in theaters
  • Indoor and outdoor events
  • Gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs
  • Indoor and outdoor pools
  • Museums, guided tours, and cultural and historical facilities
  • Youth and adult amateur sports activities
  • Outdoor recreational experiences
  • Zoos, botanical gardens, wildlife reserves, and nature centers
  • Close-contact personal services, like hair and nail salons
  • Golf facilities
  • Recreational boating and boating businesses
  • Casinos and horse tracks and simulcast facilities
  • Driving and flight schools

Amanda Kaufman of the Globe staff contributed.


Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.