BOSTON (CBS) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that the state is slashing its outdoor gathering limit from 100 to 50 people effective Tuesday, August 11. This comes as Massachusetts is seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases, with new clusters being linked to large parties and other gatherings.

“These parties are too big, too crowded and people are simply not being responsible,” Baker said. “If you give this virus an opportunity to move, it will.”

The order from Baker applies the new limit to gatherings on both public and private property. It requires face masks at events where more than 10 people from different households will be mixing. The limit to indoor gatherings will remain at 25.

Massachusetts’ relative success in fighting the coronavirus has caused some residents to become “a bit too relaxed about the seriousness of this virus,” Baker said.

Baker also announced that Massachusetts is indefinitely postponing step 2 of the Phase 3 reopening process, saying the state “cannot move forward at this time or anytime soon.” Moving to step 2 would have allowed more performance venues and indoor recreation areas to re-open, such as bowling alleys, arcades, roller skating rinks and laser tag facilities.

The state will also crack down on “bars masquerading as restaurants,” Baker said.

Read More About Crackdown On ‘Bars Masquerading As Restaurants

Manager at Cisco Seaport Manager Joe Khalidi said the change has been tough, but he’s making sure he complies with the rules.

“We switched from being a full-blown Beergarden to a sit-down venue that serves drinks and pizza,” Khalidi said. “It’s really tough but we’re gonna do what’s right and, you know, abide by the rules.”

Baker said that both state and local law enforcement will be empowered to enforce the new orders and event hosts that violate the rules will be subject to fines or cease and desist orders.

A new “COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team” will work to “ramp up enforcement” across the state and coordinate with local communities that are at the highest risk for coronavirus outbreaks.

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Earlier this week, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx said the Greater Boston Area is among the regions seeing a concerning rise in coronavirus cases and need to “get on top of it.”

Comments (4)
  1. kas1900 says:

    Can someone explain why these restrictions comes with heads up warning.

    RI travel restrictions in effect today but announced Monday. 100 to 50 max on gatherings effective next Tuesday

    Folks clearly don’t get the severity of this. Why not go , – Effective immediately ?

  2. Neely says:

    Well there is no severity and all of these mandates, including the forced health insurance mandate are not laws and can be thrown out. It’s all a hoax and power grab to keep you down. The only severity there is is Charlie Parker allowing 5000+ elderly to die by throwing in the sick into the same rooms for Veterans and Nursing Homes. Next time question the TV commercial with Minnie Mouse smiling CBS 4’s Lisa Hughes—-she’s part of the problem by being complicit to these frauds.

    1. trish212121 says:

      Don’t feed the troll

  3. Ron Killings says:

    Meanwhile Encore Boston remains open and it looked like a circus there last night. Also they aren’t releasing to the public that there has been a small outbreak among some of the employees.

    But let’s bump down “large” outdoor gatherings from 100 to 50.

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